ERIC Number: ED216550
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
Proficiency Testing in Second Language Classrooms.
Liskin-Gasparro, Judith E.; Woodford, Protase E.
Much progress has been made in foreign language achievement testing during the past twenty years. Formative and summative evaluation have also received much attention. These measures yield information on student mastery of a course of study, student progress in the course, and on the goals and objectives of foreign language instruction itself. Because none of these kinds of tests necessarily measure a student's ability to use the language in a real-life context, proficiency tests are needed to complement them. While receptive skills (listening and reading) can be measured by discrete point tests, testing and scoring of productive skills (writing and speaking) are much more complex activities. In recent years progress has been made by Education Testing Service in the holistic scoring of writing tests. This technique is based on the assumptions that the whole of an essay is greater than its parts, and that experienced teachers can recognize good writing. Comparable progress has been made in proficiency-based testing of speaking by the Foreign Service Institute, as exemplified by the language proficiency interview. This test has been used in some educational situations, but more work needs to be done to expand linguistic descriptions at levels students are likely to attain. (AMH)
Descriptors: Communicative Competence (Languages), Educational Objectives, Higher Education, Language Proficiency, Language Tests, Second Language Instruction, Secondary Education, Speech Communication, Testing, Writing Skills
Not available separately; see FL 012 939.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A