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ERIC Number: EJ926437
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
Fairness versus Justice in Language Testing: The Place of English Literacy in the Australian Citizenship Test
McNamara, Tim; Ryan, Kerry
Language Assessment Quarterly, v8 n2 p161-178 2011
This article proposes a distinction between "fairness" and "justice" in relation to language tests. Basing its discussion on the validity theory of Samuel Messick, it discusses the way in which these terms have been used in the existing literature, and their relationship to the concept of validity. Fairness, broadly speaking, refers to the technical quality of the test; justice encompasses the values implicit in test constructs, and the social uses to which language tests may be put. It illustrates the potential usefulness of the distinction by discussing the growing international practice of the use of language tests within citizenship procedures, and considers in detail the introduction of a formal citizenship test in Australia by a conservative government in the context of growing public anxiety about security, and about cultural diversity within the Australian population. (Contains 5 footnotes, 2 tables, and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia