LING-567 Advanced Language Testing
Fall for 2017-2018
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Language tests, assessments, and measures are used for a variety of purposes in a variety of contexts, from classroom assessments to high-stakes standardized examinations to the measurement of constructs in language research. Language tests also wield considerable power, as tools for gate-keeping, social promotion, and learning-essential feedback, and as the observable operationalizations of important theoretical concepts. Given the critical roles played by tests in language education and research, it is imperative that we understand how to develop, analyze, and interpret tests such that they meet the needs of test users and adhere to professional criteria for ethical, accurate, and effective testing practice (e.g., the Standards for educational and psychological measurement).

This course explores advanced issues in language testing, with an emphasis on techniques for the analysis of test items and scores, and the improvement of test design and interpretation. The following topics provide an overview of the course content:

0. Standards for language testing

1. Approaches to validation in language testing: from constructs to consequences

2. Approaches to reliability estimation in language testing

3. Item analysis: from Classical Test Theory to Item-Response Theory

4. Test score analysis: NRT, CRT, and G-Theory approaches

5. More advanced analyses: FACETS, Factor Analysis, etc.

6. Improving tests used as research measures

7. Investigating consequences, washback, and test-score use

Students work in the course will include regular test analysis assignments and one major test development/design/improvement project. Readings will be from an electronic reading packet. Recommended background texts include:

Bachman, L. (2004). Statistical analysis for language assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, J.D. (2005). Testing in language programs: A comprehensive guide to English language assessment. Chicago: McGraw Hill.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Prerequisites: Ling 350, or previous language testing experience, or consent of instructor
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