ERIC Number: ED363090
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Assessment of Language Proficiency: Informing Policy and Practice.
A discussion of language proficiency focuses on the conceptual framework for assessing proficiency and its implications for educational policy formation at the state and local levels. First, the concept of language is defined in terms of the interaction of these elements: language subsystems, communication skills, language domains, language registers, and knowledge of the language. Context of language use is also considered. Two common language assessment approaches, oral language proficiency tests and standardized achievement tests, are then examined for advantages and limitations, and an alternative, integrative approach is outlined. The latter approach is based on the sociolinguistic perspective that language is more than the sum of its discrete parts, and uses measures of integrative skills, including rating scales, interviews, dictation tests, and cloze tests. Finally, guidelines for policy and practice at the elementary and secondary school levels are proposed, targeted specifically at state policy-makers, the state education agency, and the local education agency. Appended materials consist of notes on the characteristics of selected tests of English language proficiency and results of a study of the reliability of a number of language proficiency tests. (Contains 11 references.) (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.
Note: Appended materials may not reproduce well.