ENGL 576 A: Testing And Evaluation In English As A Second Language

Testing & Evaluation of TESOL

Meeting Time: 
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
PAR 120
William Harshbarger

Additional Details:

This course will introduce both practical and theoretical aspects of designing, administering and evaluating tests and other assessment options for language teaching purposes. The main goals of the course are:

  1. to introduce the main considerations, contexts, purposes and techniques related to language assessment and evaluation
  2. to practice creating tests
  3. to examine challenges and ethical issues related to language assessment and evaluation

More specifically, we will explore the following topics:

  • Testing vs. assessment vs. evaluation vs. grading
  • Sampling an ongoing learning process -- cf Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle
  • Positivist vs. interpretivist approaches -- Traditional vs. Alternative assessment
  • Assessment types and purposes
  • Validity face, construct, predictive, criterion
  • Reliability -- test-retest, internal, item analysis, predictive value, rater/interrater, sample sizes, standard deviation
  • Testing tests and interpreting test results -- Classical Test Theory/ General Test Theory/ Item Response Theory
  • Practical issues in language assessment
  • Objective and Subjective assessment
  • Washback and teaching to the test
  • Holistic vs. Discrete testing Problems of isolating test foci
  • Norm referenced vs. criterion referenced vs. ipsative (individual progress) tests
  • Behavioral objectives
  • Correlations
  • Ethics and controversies in language assessment and evaluation
Catalog Description: 
Evaluation and testing of English language proficiency, including testing theory, types of tests, and teacher-prepared classroom tests. Prerequisite: ENGL 571 and ENGL 572 or permission of instructor.
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:04pm