Assessment Basics for the Language Classroom: A Crash Course in Testing

Everyone remembers the stress of taking tests when they were students. Whether for placement purposes, measuring classroom learning, diagnosing content weaknesses or measuring overall proficiency, tests are an embedded and unavoidable part of teaching. Maximizing their potential should be a goal of every teacher and administrator.

This presentation will outline how tests can be used to check how much students have learned throughout a semester, as well as how they can help encourage the students to reach new levels. Different kinds of tests as well as recommended test-making strategies will be introduced, in addition to a discussion of the concepts of validity, washback and fairness. Focus will be given to considering the purposes of testing, the kinds of questions used, and basic results analysis. It is hoped that participants will gain an understanding of how tests can be used as a tool to promote learning in the classroom.

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Posted by IAFOR