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LANGUAGE TESTING

J ennifer E. Lopez
Master Teacher 1
Lucena City National High School
What is a language Test
A test is a method of measuring a persons
skill/ability or knowledge in a given area.

A sample of behavior under controlled or
specified conditions and aimed toward
providing a basis for forming judgments.



skills
speaking
listening
reading
writing
WHAT to test?
knowledge
language
grammar
morphology
syntax semantics
lexis
Receptive Skills (decoding process- searching for meaning)
Reading (require a printed text)
Listening (require an aural text)

Productive Skills (encoding process- expressing ideas)
Writing (written or typed text)
Speaking (spoken text)


READING

Testing of Reading Skills


WHAT TO TEST?
Reading
Aloud
Silent Reading
pronunciation
Stresses
& Intonation
Subskills
Identify main facts &details
Relate cause & effect
Identify sequence of events
Predicting outcomes
Inferring meaning from
contextual clues
Reading levels
Literal comprehension
Reorganization
Inferential Comprehension
Evaluation
Appreciation
Reading Text Types (genres)
Narrative
descriptive
Expository
report
Poem
Play
Non-linear texts-table, graph & chart


Reading Test Question Types
True/ False
Rearrangement (sequencing order)
Structured (controlled, guided)
Open-ended (subjective response, free
writing)
MCQ (matching, wh question, completion)
Cloze procedure
Criteria for selection of reading texts
Authenticity
Ideas (students schema, complexity)
Exploitability (adaptability, simplification)
Language (lexical, syntactical, semantic
complexity)
Accessibility
Text length
Sources of reading text
J ournals
Theaters
Comics
Reports
Story books
Reference books
Internet
Textbooks
Traveling agencies
Restaurants
Manuals
Mass media (TV, radio, magazine, newspapers)



LISTENING

Testing of Listening Skills


WHAT TO TEST?
Subskills
Identify main facts &details
Relate cause & effect
Identify sequence of events
Predicting outcomes
Inferring meaning from contextual clues

Levels
Literal comprehension
Reorganization
Inferential Comprehension
Evaluation
Appreciation

Principles in Testing Listening Skills
Allow reading time for candidates to read every
question prior to the listening
Writing of responses should be kept to the
minimum
Ensure listening content and contexts be as
authentic as possible
Ensure test venue has excellent acoustic facility
Ensure both listening tape and cassette player
are in excellent working condition
Listening Text Types (genres)
Narrative
Descriptive
Expository
Discussion
Speech
Talk
Interview
Poem
Play
Announcement
Report
Dialogue
conversation
Question Types
MCQ with/without pictures
Fill in the blanks/completion items
Labeling
Matching
True/false
Sequencing

Criteria for selection of a listening text
Authenticity
Ideas (students schema)
Audio quality
Exploitability (adaptability, simplification)
Text length
Accessibility
Language (syntactical, semantic, lexical
complexity)
Sources of Listening Texts
Announcements at airport, bus terminal, malls, radio, TV, etc.
Interviews
Reports
Stories
Lectures
Dialogues
Poems
Play
Songs
Advertisements
Speeches
Talks
news



WRITING

Testing of Writing Skills


WHAT TO TEST?
Content/
Ideas
Language
Organization
Quality/levels
quantity
clarity Sentence complexity
vocabulary
syntax
accuracy
simple
compound
complex
appropriacy
paragraphing
Types of Writing Tasks
(What to write)
Letters (formal/informal)
Articles
Announcements
Reports
Poems
Plays
Stories
Talks/speeches
News

Resources Used in Testing Writing
A set of questions
Short notes
Picture series
Maps
Charts, tables, graphs
Schedules
Advertisements
Diary entries
Question Types & Levels

Very Partially Free
Structured Structured Writing
LEVEL OF GUIDANCE GIVEN & STIMULI USED
V. High Guidance
Key words given
Ideas given in pictures or short notes
Key phrases given
Format given
V. Little Guidance
Candidates have to
come up with their
own words & ideas
Scoring Writing Tests
Holistic
Impressionistic vs. Analytical


SPEAKING

Testing of Speaking Skills


WHAT TO TEST?
Turn-taking
Language
Presentation Skills
Organization
Content/ideas
pronunciation
accuracy
clarity
appropriacy format
Eye- contact
style
fluency
confidence
syntax
grammar
Sentence
complexity
vocabulary
Criteria in determining speaking contexts
Authenticity
Exploitability (language functions,
language forms)
Purposeful
Practical (time, administration, scoring)
Meaningful



Types of speaking contexts
Interview
Discussion (pair, group)
Speeches/ talks (formal/ informal)
Dialogue/ conversation
Strategies to make candidates talk
Problem-solving
Role-playing
Describing a series of pictures
Talking on a given topic
Responding to a series of questions
Principles in testing speaking skills
Ensure speaking contexts are as authentic as
possible, esp. in communicative testing
Put candidates at ease prior to the real test
Examiners to remain as non-intrusive as
possible, esp. in group discussion
Ensure scoring reliability-inter-rater reliability
Speaking contexts must give maximum
opportunities for candidates to speak.



GRAMMAR

What to test in a grammar test?
The rules of grammar (phrases, clauses,
tenses etc.)
Mechanics (punctuation, capitalization)
Syntax (sentence structure)
How? Item Types
MCQ with/without pictures
Fill in the blanks/completion item
Error recognition
Rearrangement
Transformation
Matching
Combination
Addition
Changing words



HAPPY TESTING!