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ERIC Number: EJ859093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-1934-6875
Academic Bias in Language Testing: A Construct Validity Critique of the IPT I Oral Grades K-6 Spanish Second Edition (IPT Spanish)
MacSwan, Jeff; Mahoney, Kate
Journal of Educational Research & Policy Studies, v8 n2 p86-101 Fall 2008
Construct validity concerns for the IPT I Oral Grades K-6 Spanish Second Edition (IPT-S) as a measure of native oral language proficiency are examined. The examination included describing a subset of items that contributes most to overall score and native-language proficiency designation. Correlations between this subset of items and the overall score are calculated. Empirical evidence suggests that if a student cannot or does not answer four questions from the second section in a complete sentence, then the student will either be labeled as a non-speaker or a limited speaker in the native language. The authors argue that the requirement that speakers respond in complete sentences reflects a naive view of language proficiency inconsistent with linguistic research, and characterize the requirement as "academic bias," that is, a prejudice resulting from a confusion of academic content knowledge related to language arts with actual linguistic ability, having the result of arbitrarily favoring members of the educated classes. The authors conclude that the IPT-S should not be used for Spanish language assessment with Spanish-speaking children. (Contains 1 figure and 5 tables.)
National Office for Research on Measurement and Evaluation Systems. University of Arkansas, 346 North West Avenue, 302 WAAX, Fayetteville, AR 72701. Tel: 479-575-5593; Fax: 479-575-5185; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A