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ERIC Number: ED350819
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Authenticity in Foreign Language Testing.
Doye, Peter
In foreign language testing, as in all testing, validity is the primary criterion for test quality. However plausible the concept of validity, in practice it is not always easy to arrive at congruence between the test situation and the real-life situation the learner is expected to master. Some language educators make authenticity a major criterion of test quality. However, complete congruence of test and real-life situation is impossible, and there are other considerations than authenticity in testing. A language test as a social event essentially different from any other social event in which the learner will need to use the language. The solution is to find a reasonable balance between authenticity and abstraction in tests. Pragmatics, with its analyses of speech acts and their characteristics, can be helpful in finding the right degree of abstraction for testing. Examples of such test items include a series of sentences of which portions are illegible and the learner must supply appropriate words, or a paired or group activity in which students must elicit information from each other to complete a common task such as a survey or map completion. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A