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ERIC Number: ED365145
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Language Testing in the 1990s: How Far Have We Come? How Much Further Have We to Go?
Alderson, J. Charles
A discussion of trends and progress in language testing looks at movement in the field since 1980, based on the themes and content of national and international conferences; trends in test content, method, and analysis; and work on the nature of proficiency and of language learning. It is proposed that movement evidenced by conferences is largely sideways and backward; that while improvements have been made in test content, method, and analysis, there is little evidence that these improvements represent real advancements; and that research on the nature of proficiency and of language learning is still in its early stages. Four main reasons are given for the lack of progress: the relative youth of the discipline; dearth of replication, teamwork, and agenda in research; inadequacy of funding; and lack of a coherent framework or model. Areas in which attention will be important in the next decade are outlined, including: research on language learning; the washback effect of testing; validity of test content; knowledge of the structure of language proficiency; computer- based language testing and the impact of technology on testing; learner-centered testing; the role of judgment in language testing; and traditional concerns about test validity and reliability. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: In: Sarinee, Anivan, Ed. Current Developments in Language Testing. Anthology Series 25. Paper presented at the Regional Language Centre Seminar on Language Testing and Language Programme Evaluation (April 9-12, 1990); see FL 021 757.