• The measurement of writing ability 1913 - 2012

      Weir, Cyril J.; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
    • The measurement of reading ability 1913-2012

      Weir, Cyril J.; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
    • Introduction

      Taylor, Lynda (Cambridge University Press, 2013-05)
    • Assessing health professionals

      Taylor, Lynda; Pill, John; University of Bedfordshire; University of Melbourne (Wiley, 2013-11)
      Language tests are used in the evaluation of migrating health professionals’ readiness to practise safely and effectively. Such assessment is complex, involving policy and practice alongside questions of a moral and ethical nature. The chapter focuses on English language assessment of doctors—referred to as international medical graduates (IMGs)—to exemplify issues arising for all health professionals in any language. The initial section describes differing approaches to language assessment used in various jurisdictions internationally: the UK, Australia, and the USA. The next section links this assessment policy and practice to theoretical insights and research findings. It considers the scope of language proficiency and of what is testable in specific purpose language (LSP) tests, and describes the increased recognition in health-care contexts of the importance of effective communication for patient safety and positive clinical outcomes. Studies of the development of language tests for health professionals are cited to highlight the importance of collaboration between domain experts and test designers regarding test content, task format, and rating criteria. There is only limited evidence that LSP tests are better predictors than general purpose language tests of test takers’ ability to perform in a particular context; however, it is similarly uncertain whether general purpose tests are sufficient for such sensitive contexts as those in health care. The following section presents challenges and issues for LSP assessment for health professionals from three theoretical perspectives: authenticity, specificity, and inseparability; it also considers practical and policy constraints. The final section indicates further directions for research and wider ethical issues inherent in the global migration of health professionals.
    • Cognitive processing and foreign language use

      Field, John (Routledge, 2014-12)
    • Measured constructs: a history of Cambridge English Examinations, 1913-2012

      Weir, Cyril J.; Vidakovic, Ivana; Galaczi, Evelina D. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
    • Cognitive validity

      Field, John (2013)
    • Adapting or developing source material for listening and reading tests

      Green, Anthony (Wiley Blackwell, 2013)
      The ability to understand spoken or written language cannot be observed directly but must be inferred. In tests of reading and listening, test takers are given input in the form of texts or recordings of spoken language and are asked to perform tasks as evidence of their comprehension. This chapter traces how the choice of texts or recordings for use in such tests has been shaped by trends in language education. The last century saw a decisive movement away from translation and reading aloud toward the use of comprehension questions as evidence of understanding. Considerations in selecting and preparing material are outlined. Methods that have been used by developers to gauge the difficulty of texts and recordings are described. The role of item writers in shaping or adapting material for use in tests is discussed, and predictions are made about future developments, including a growing role for technology in the selection of material.
    • Examining listening: research and practice in assessing second language listening

      Geranpayeh, Ardeshir; Taylor, Lynda (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
    • Testing reading through summary: investigating summary completion tasks for assessing reading comprehension ability

      Taylor, Lynda (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
      This volume reports on a series of empirical studies that investigated the development and trialling of text-removed summary completion tasks and discusses the correlation of these tasks with results from independent measures to validate text-removed summary completion as a measure of reading comprehension ability. Findings from the empirical research reported in the volume suggest it is possible to develop a satisfactory summary of a text which will be consistent with most readers’ mental representation if their reading of the text is adequately contextualised within some purposeful activity. The conversion of the summary into a text-removed summary completion task provides a means of reconciling more closely the practice of assessing reading comprehension ability with current theory about the nature of comprehension.
    • The co-construction of conversation in group oral tests

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; University of Bedfordshire (Peter Lang, 2013)
    • Course handbook for promoting sustainable excellence in English language testing and assessment

      Green, Anthony; Westbrook, C.; Burenina, N.; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
    • Exploring language assessment and testing

      Green, Anthony; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2013)
    • Researching intertextual reading

      Bax, Stephen; University of Bedfordshire (Peter Lang, 2013-07)
    • Measured constructs: a history of Cambridge English language examinations 1913 - 2012

      Weir, Cyril J. (Cambridge ESOL, 2013-02)
      In recent years assessment issues have assumed increased importance in the economic, educational and socio-political affairs of society. Spolsky (2008:297) argues that ‘testing has become big business’, and Shohamy (2008:xiv) points to ‘the societal role that language tests perform, the power that they hold, and their central functions in education, politics and society’. A significant role for testing language proficiency can be seen inter alia in migration and citizenship policy and practice, the professional registration of those involved in the provision of health care, appointment and promotion in business, industry and commerce, the certification of air traffic and maritime personnel, and entry to tertiary level education. Such uses testify to the critical function that language assessment now fulfils in contemporary society.
    • Can-do statements in reference level descriptions and the socio-cognitive framework for test validation

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; University of Bedfordshire (Japan Foundation, 2013)
    • Communicating the theory, practice and principles of language testing to test stakeholders: some reflections

      Taylor, Lynda; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2013-07)
      The 33rd Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), held in June 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, included a conference symposium on the topic of assessment literacy. This event brought together a group of four presenters from different parts of the world, each of whom reported on their recent research in this area. Presentations were followed by a discussant slot that highlighted some thematic threads from across the papers and raised various questions for the professional language testing community to consider together. One point upon which there was general consensus during the discussion was the need for more research to be undertaken and published in this complex and challenging area. It is particularly encouraging, therefore, to see a coherent set of studies on assessment literacy brought together in this special issue of Language Testing and it will undoubtedly make an important contribution to the steadily growing body of literature on this topic, particularly as it concerns the testing of languages. This brief commentary revisits some of the themes originally raised during the LTRC 2011 symposium, considers how these have been explored or developed through the papers in this special issue and reflects on some future directions for our thinking and activity in this important area.