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Group 1:

Nguyn Th Phng Tho


Phm Thi Bo Ngc
Nguyn Thanh Bnh
Nguyn Qunh Thy
Nguyn L B Tng
Lecturer:
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen
APPROACHES TO
LANGUAGE TESTING

3. The Integrative approach
2. The Structuralist approach
1. The Essay Translation approach
4. The Communicative approach
The content
1. The Essay-Translation approach
Pre-scientific stage of language testing.
No special skill or expertise in testing is
required.

Teachers judgement is considered important
Types of test: essay writing, translation, and
grammatical analysis
Heavy literary and cultural bias
2. The Structuralist approach
Language learning is concerned with the
systematic acquisition of a set of habits.
Focus on structural linguistics

- Contrastive Analysis
- The need to identify and measure the
learners mastery of separate elements of
the target language.
04 language skills are tested separately.

Psychometric approach: an integral part of
structuralist testing.
reliability and objectivity
Type of test: multiple choice items
Statistical measure
3. The Integrative approach
Involve the testing of language in context
meaning and communicative effectiveness.
Assess learners ability to use two or more
skills simultaneously.
Concern with a global view of proficiency.

Types of test:
- Cloze test
- Dictation
- Others: Oral interviews, translation,
and essay writing.


Cloze test
Base on Gesalt theory of closure
Measure the readers ability to decode
interrupted or mutilated messages

40-50 blanks
02 methods of scoring:
- Acceptable answer
- Exact answer
Measure familiarity with grammar
Reliable
More closely to the real-life tasks
Advantageous to provide lead-in
A measure of reading difficulty and
reading comprehension.
Requirements for successful performance:
- Linguistic knowledge
- Textual knowledge
- Knowledge of the world
Cloze test are used in general achievement test,
proficiency test, classroom placement test, and
diagnostic test.
Dictation
Measure students skills of listening
comprehension
Integrated skills in tests: auditory
discrimination, auditory memory span,
spelling, and so on.
Good predicators of global language
ability.

Disadvantage:
No reliable way of assessing
Errors are penalised in the same way

Procedure of dictation:
Read through the whole dictation passage
Dictate in meaningful units to challenge
students short term memory span.
Read the whole passage once at slightly
slower than normal speed.
Translation - Oral Interviews - Writing
Complex nature of skills and methods of
scoring.
Unreliable
4. The Communicative approach
Concern with how language is used in
communication.

Measure different language skills in
communicative tests based on divisibility
hypothesis.
The scores of the test will result in several
measures of proficiency.

6 5 4 3 2 1
Listening
Reading
Listening and speaking
Writing
The requirements for the test:
Reflect the culture of a particular country.
Relate to real-life situations.
Base on precise and detailed specifications
of the needs of the learners
Focus on qualitative modes of assessment

Advantage:
Humanistic attitude to language testing
- Evaluate based on each students
performance
- Focus on qualitative assessment.
TECHINIQUES OF
LANGUAGE TESTING
Selection item types
Candidate - supplied
response item types
ITEM TYPES
NON-ITEM-BASED TASK TYPES
Mostly used in tests of reading, listening & structural competence
Mostly used in tests of reading, listening, structural competence & writing
Mostly used in tests of speaking & writing
SELECTION ITEM TYPES
Discrete point & text based multiple choice items
True/false item
Gap-filling (cloze passage) with multiple choice options
Gap-filling with selection from bank
Gap-filling at paragraph level
Matching
Multiple matching
Extra word error detection
Discrete point & text based
multiple choice items
The singer ended the concert........................her most popular song.
A. by B. as C. in D. with
Discrete point multiple choice item
STEM
OPTIONS
Distractors
Key /
Answer
Text-based multiple choice item
Then he saw a violin in a shop. It was of such
high quality that even top professional
players are rarely able to afford one like it.
Id never felt money was important until
then, Colin explained. Even with the
money Id won, I wasnt sure I could afford
to buy the violin, so I started to leave the
shop.
When Colin first found the violin, what did he
think?
A. He might not have enough money to buy it.
B. He should not spend all of his money on it.
C. He was not a good enough player to own it.
D. He could not leave the shop without it.
RULES FOR WRITING DISCRETE / TEXT BASED
MULTIPLE CHOICE ITEMS
1. Test only a single idea in each item
2. Base each item on a specific problem stated clearly in the stem
3. Keep the alternatives mutually exclusive
4. Use only one correct (or best) option
5. Keep option lengths similar
6. Avoid clues to the correct answer
- Be grammatically correct
- Use plausible distractors
7. Avoid unnecessary length & irrelevant difficulty
- Include as much of the item as possible in the stem
- Keep the stem and options brief, concise and clear
- Put options in a logical order
8. Avoid Negative Questions
9. Avoid All of the above / None of the above
10. Present the answer in each item approximately an equal number of times
2 important points tested in a
single item
Original Revised
1. Peter arrived ______ the
airport ______ noon.
A. at in
B. in in
C. in at
D. at at

1. Peter arrived ___ the airport at noon.
A. at
B. in
C. on
D. to
2. We often have lunch _____ noon.
A. for
B. in
C. at
D. on


The stem failure to present the
problem adequately
Original Revised
1. World War II was:
A. The result of the failure of the League
of Nations.
B. Horrible.
C. Fought in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
D. Fought during the period of 1939-
1945.

1. In which of these time period was
World War II fought?
A. 1914-1917
B. 1929-1934
C. 1939-1945
D. 1951-1955
E. 1961-1969
Overlapping options
Original Revised
1. During what age period is thumb-
sucking likely to produce the greatest
psychological trauma?

A. Infancy
B. Preschool period
C. Before adolescence
D. During adolescence
E. After adolescence

1. During what age period is thumb-
sucking likely to produce the
greatest psychological trauma?

A. From birth to 2 years old
B. From 2 years to 5 years old
C. From 5 years to 12 years old
D. From 12 years to 20 years old
E. 20 years of age or older

Grammatical clues to the correct
answer
Original Revised
1. Albert Eisenstein was a _____.
A. anthropologist
B. astronomer
C. chemist
D. mathematician
1. Albert Eisenstein was a(n) _____.
A. anthropologist
B. astronomer
C. chemist
D. mathematician
Implausible distractors
Original Revised
Which of the following artists is known for painting the ceiling of the
Sistine Chapel?
a. Warhol.
b. George Washington.
c. Michelangelo.
d. Santa Claus.

a. Botticelli.
b. Leonardo da Vinci.
c. Michelangelo.
d. Raphael.
Unnecessary length
Original Revised
1. If the pressure of a certain
amount of gas is held constant,
what will happen if its volume is
increased?
A. The temperature of the gas will
decrease.
B. The temperature of the gas will
increase.
C. The temperature of the gas will
remain the same.

1. If you increase the volume of
a certain amount of gas
while holding its pressure
constant, its temperature
will:
A. decrease.
B. increase.
C. remain the same.
Wordy options
Original Revised
1. The term hypothesis, as used in research, as
defined as:
A. A conception or proposition formed by speculation
or deduction or by abstraction and generalization
from facts, explaining or relating an observed set
of facts, given probability by experimental
evidence or by factual or conceptual analysis but
not conclusively established or accepted.
B. A statement of an order or relation of phenomena
that so far as is known is invariable under the given
conditions, formulated on the basis of conclusive
evidence or tests and universally accepted, that
has been tested and proven to conform to facts.
C. A proposition tentatively assumed in order to draw
out its logical or empirical consequences and so
test its accord with facts that are known or may be
determined, of such a nature as to be either proved
or disproved by comparison with observed facts.
1. The term hypothesis, as used
in research, is defined as:
A. An assertion explaining an
observed set of facts that has
not been conclusively
established.
B. A universally accepted
assertion explaining an
observed set of facts.
C. A tentative assertion that is
either proved or disproved by
comparison with an observed
set of facts.
Illogical order
Original Revised
According to the 1991 census, approximately what percent of
the United States population is of Spanish or Hispanic descent?
a. 25%
b. 39%
c. 2%
d. 9%
a. 2%
b. 9%
c. 25%
d. 39%
Logical order
Logical order Example
Numerical
a. 1939
b. 1940
c. 1941
d. 1942
Alphabetical
a. Changing a from .01 to .05.
b. Decreasing the degrees of freedom.
c. Increasing the spread of the exam scores.
d. Reducing the size of the treatment effect.
Sequential
a. Heating ice from -100C to 0C.
b. Melting ice at 0C.
c. Heating water from 0C to 100C.
d. Evaporating water at 100C.
e. Heating steam from 100C to 200C.
Negative questions & answers
Original Revised
1. All of the following are
correct procedures for
putting out a fire in a pan
on the stove except:
A. Do not move the pan.
B. Pour water into the pan.
C. Slide a fitted lid onto the
pan.
D. Turn off the burner
controls.
1. All of the following are
correct procedures for
putting out a fire in a pan on
the stove except:
A. Leave the pan where it is.
B. Pour water into the pan.
C. Slide a fitted lid onto the
pan.
D. Turn off the burner controls.
SELECTION ITEM TYPES
Discrete point & text based multiple choice items
True/false item
Gap-filling (cloze passage) with multiple choice options
Gap-filling with selection from bank
Gap-filling at paragraph level
Matching
Multiple matching
Extra word error detection
Gap-filling (cloze passage) with
multiple choice options
2 methods: - Mechanical deletion
- Selective deletion
Range of skills tested is very limited, restricted to sentence level.
Rules:
First gap should not be placed too near the beginning of the passage.
There should be between 7 and 12 words between gaps.
Words which leave an acceptable sentence when omitted should not be deleted.
Thousands of languages are spoken in the world today. Populations that
.........(1)....... similar cultures and live only a short distance ..........(2)...... may still
speak languages that are quite distinct and not ........(3)........ understood by
neighbouring populations.
1. A share B belong C keep D own
2. A far B apart C divided D separated
Gap-filling with selection from bank

Gap-filling at paragraph level

Ten Days Under the Sea
1. My team and I had gone through a lot to
get to where we were. There had been a
year of planning, four days of intensive
training and, in my case, a lifetime of
ambition to work underwater as a marine
biologist.
2. My team-mates, pensive and quiet,
seemed to be ruminating on much the same
theme as we arrived at the barge, moored,
and exchanged our dry shirts and sandals for
damp wet-suits and ungainly fins. After
years of use, the scuba gear I donned had
the comfort of well-used tools, except for
one crucial omission.
3. The Aquarius habitat would be our only
refuge and the surface a dangerous place,
where we could die in minutes. Within 24
hours of submerging, our bodies would
become saturated with nitrogen gas. In this
state, a rapid return to the surface would
induce a severe and possibly crippling or
even fatal case of decompression sickness,
better known as the bends.

A
My familiar red face mask no longer had a
snorkel attached to the strap. The most
basic component of my regular equipment
was conspicuous in its
absence, reminding me that, where I was
going, the surface would no longer provide a
safe haven from trouble.
B
Still, I couldnt help thinking about the
things I would miss while living underneath
the sea: sunshine, fresh air, open spaces,
even the squadrons of pelicans that soared
silently over the boat.
C
For the next ten days, in fact, we would be
aquanauts, living every marine researchers
fantasy: we would spend as many as six
hours a day working in the water and then
retire to a warm, dry, comfortable shelter for
meals, discussions, relaxation and sleep.
Matching
Silvia likes reading true
stories which people
have written about
themselves. Shes
particularly interested in
people who have had
unusual or difficult lives.
Ali enjoys reading crime
stories which are
carefully written so that
they hold his interest
right to the end. He
enjoys trying to guess
who the criminal really is
while hes reading.
A. The Last Journey
John Reynolds final trip to the
African Congo two years ago
unfortunately ended in his
death. For the first time since
then, we hear about where he
went and what happened to
him from journalist Tim
Holden, who has followed
Reynolds route.
B. The Missing Photograph
Another story about the
well-known policeman,
Inspector Manning. It is
written in the same simple
but successful way as the
other Manning stories I
found it a bit disappointing
as I guessed who the
criminal was halfway
through!
C. Free at Last!
Matthew Hunt, who spent
half his life in jail for a crime
he did not do, has written
the moving story of his
lengthy fight to be set free.
Now out of prison, he has
taken the advice of a judge
to describe his experiences in
a book.
D. London Alive
This author of many famous
novels has now turned to
writing short stories with great
success. The stories tell of
Londoners daily lives and
happen in eighteen different
places for example, one story
takes place at a table in a caf,
another in the back of a taxi
and another in a hospital.
Multiple matching
Extra word error detection

SELECTION ITEM TYPES
ADVANTAGES
Wide coverage of the
content area
No spelling &
handwriting problem
Marking objectivity
Marking convenience
& rapidity
DISADVANTAGES
Testing: recognition >>
production
Few chances to test
different abilities
Guesswork
Difficulty & long time
in test-designing stage
Poor classroom
practice
Objectivity Reliability Validity Efficiency
CANDIDATE-SUPPLIED RESPONSE
ITEM TYPES
Short answer item
Sentence completion
Open gap-filling (cloze)
Transformation
Word formation
Transformation cloze
Note expansion
Error correction / proof reading
Information transfer
Short answer item

SECTION 1
SECTION 3
(
I
E
L
T
S

9
,

p
p
.

3
3

&

8
4
)

There is only one unambiguous correct answer or a very limited number of
acceptable answers
Transformation
Maria missed the ferry because her car broke down.
If............................................................................................... .
OR
Mark scheme
Transformation cloze
In Holland, people were so desperate to own tulip bulbs that
their became quite extraordinary. It was not for people to
sell all their in order to buy a single tulip bulb. The situation
became so serious that laws were passed with the of
controlling this trade in tulips.

BEHAVE
COMMON
POSSESS
INTEND
There is a word missing in each line.
Find the location of missing words and supply them in their correct form.
Note expansion
I / very pleased / meet you / teachers conference / London / last year.
Mark scheme:
I was very pleased (1 mark) to meet you (1 mark) during/(while we were)
at (1 mark) the (1 mark) teachers' conference (which was held) in London
last year (1 mark).
rather complicated Difficult to mark
CANDIDATE-SUPPLIED
RESPONSE ITEM TYPES

ADVANTAGES
(compared with
selection types)
Difficulty & long time in marking stage
examiner marking
Issue s of spelling & accuracy subjective
assessment
DISADVANTA
GES
items written easier
wider sample of content
guessing minimized
creativity in language use
measure of higher & lower order skills
more positive effect on classroom practice
similar degree of marking objectivity
NON-ITEM-BASED TASK TYPES
Writing tasks with detailed
input
Writing tasks with titles only
Presentation
Use of picture prompts
Written prompts
Information gap tasks
WRITING
extended writing questions
WRITING TASKS ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
Writing tasks
with detailed
input
More uniform set of
responses
Quicker, easier,
more reliable marking
Requiring input
comprehension
Testing reading +
writing Valid?
Writing tasks
with titles only
Easy to produce
Valid in testing
writing
Varied responses
More difficult to
mark fairly
Depending on the
candidate's
background, culture &
education
Writing tasks with detailed input
Writing tasks with titles only
Elementary level
Elementary level
You must see your friend, David, before tomorrow
evening.
Write a note to David. Say:
Why you want to see him.
Where and when to meet you.
Others.
Speaking tasks
SPEAKING TASKS ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
Presentation Topics of real
concern & interest
Memorization of
mainstream topics
Picture prompt Interest to
candidates
Varied responses
Written prompt Easy preparation Very demanding task
for candidates
Information gap Suitability even for
elementary level
Simple & repetitive
language production
REFERENCES
ALTE (2005). ALTE Materials for the Guidance of Test Item Writers.
Retrieved March 10, 2014 from
http://www.alte.org/attachments/files/item_writer_guidelines.pdf
Burton, S.J.; Sudweeks, R.R.; Merrill, P. F. & Wood, B. (1991). How to
Prepare Better Multiple-Choice Test Items: Guidelines for University
Faculty. Brigham Young University Testing Services and The Department
of Instructional Science. Retrieved March 10, 2014 from
http://testing.byu.edu/info/handbooks/betteritems.pdf
Cambridge IELTS 9. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Zimmaro, D. M. (2004). Writing Good Multiple-Choice Exams. Austin:
University of Texas. Retrieved March 10, 2014 from
http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/edge/workshop/seminarseries/2010-
11/Seminar03-WritingGoodMultipleChoiceExams.pdf