Language testing and assessment have been around for many years and the challenges inherent in providing evaluation instruments in language have been numerous. Fortunately, in the last 30-40 years research and emerging thoughts have driven the testing and assessment environment and with the advent of the CEFR and international codes of good testing practice from organisations, such as ALTE and ILTA, awareness of what constitutes a valid and appropriate test is a lot clearer than it hitherto had been.
That’s not to say all challenges have disappeared during this period as concerns still circulate over specific purpose testing, online testing, rating scales, understanding constructs, validity and of course the use of technology in the testing arena.
In more recent years the idea of ‘Assessment literacy’ has been centre stage and many authors have sought to open the ‘Pandora’s Box’ in order to try and make the world much more accessible for both educators and learners. Emerging thoughts have also sought to question the more traditional methods of assessment through large-scale exams into classroom and portfolio assessment, as well as on-site operational assessment for high-stakes occupational testing such as medicine and aviation. Not only this, but with the development of the Companion Volume to the CEFR the more traditional language-based testing theories are being questioned in looking to include a wider range of communicative skills that better reflect the contextual communicative environments of learners.
Whilst the majority of educators involved come from teaching backgrounds, few teacher training programmes include any direct reference to assessment and testing meaning that very often, teachers are thrown in at the deep end with little knowledge of what to expect or do. Professional development is often arbitrary and dependant on the motivation and resources of teachers.
At Englishplus we use our knowledge of the TEA environment, underpinned with academic qualifications and practical experience, to provide tailor made services in test and assessment literacy development in areas such as test development, rater training, national government assessment policy, oral examining, item writing and editing, high stakes test operations and assessment literacy programmes.
We have carried out our testing expertise services around the world in adapting to the ever-changing needs of our clients across language and cultural boundaries with an empathetic and personable approach.
Please contact us for further information on how we can help you meet your testing and assessment objectives.