Language assessment or language testing is a field of study under the umbrella of applied linguistics. Its main focus is the assessment of first , second or other language in the school, college, or university context; assessment of language use in the workplace; and assessment of language in the immigration, citizenship, and asylum contexts.
Equal weight may be placed on knowledge understanding how the language works theoretically and proficiency ability to use the language practically , or greater weight may be given to one aspect or the other. The earliest works in language assessment in the United States date back to the s to the pioneering studies and test created by Robert Lado and David Harris.
The first test launched in was the Lado Test of Aural Comprehension. Approximately 10 years later, a full suite of tests had been assembled: "an English language test battery", which was administered to incoming foreign students at Michigan and other universities. TOEFL was launched in and was designed to assess the English language ability of students applying for admission to U. This test, which is used widely around the world, is still in use although it is now only available in the internet-based format now called the TOEFL iBT .
Many universities too, like the University of California, Los Angeles , Teachers College , Columbia University, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign , have developed English and other language tests to assess the abilities of their students and teaching assistants. These language assessments are generally known as proficiency or achievement assessments.
New technology has also made a presence in the field: Versant's English and Dutch assessments use phone technology to record the speaking and automated scoring of their speaking tests, and the ETS is currently experimenting with automated scoring of their writing tests. The International Language Testing Association ILTA is one of the many organizations that organizes conferences, workshops, and a public forum for the discussion of important matters.
All of these associations have developed Codes of Ethics and Practice that all language assessment professionals are expected to adhere to. There are many annual conferences on general or specific topics.
Similarly, there are regional meetings in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. International conference themes have included supporting the European Year of Languages , the impact of multilingualism , the wider social and educational impact of assessment and the role of language frameworks The aviation personnel is required to be regularly tested on aviation language proficiency.
Language Assessment: Concepts and Issues
Each flight crew license is endorsed by the respective endorsement specifying the holder's language proficiency. The level acceptable for the operational use in the aviation is 4 thru 6. The validity of the respective level varies with the region.
The organizations authorized to conduct the language assessments on behalf of national aviation authorities are so-called "Language assessment bodies" or "Testing service providers". Each and every Language assessment body is issued with the Certificate of approval with its authorizations.
Aero Language  and Myflower College  are one of several organizations in Europe authorized to conduct the language assessments for pilots and air traffic controllers. Purpura and Language Testing published by Sage Publications currently edited by Luke Harding and April Ginther that publishes major findings from researchers. Some of these journals have special issue volumes on Ethics in language assessment, structural equation modeling, language assessment in Asia, Classroom assessment, etc.
The field has exploded in the last twenty years in terms of textbooks and research publications. Language assessment or language testing courses are taught as required or elective courses in many graduate and doctoral programs, particularly in the subjects of applied linguistics , English for Speakers of Other Languages , English as a second or foreign language , or educational linguistics.
The focus of most courses is on test development, psychometric qualities of tests, validity , reliability and fairness of tests, and classical true score measurement theory. Additional courses focus on item response theory , factor analysis , structural equation modeling , G theory , latent growth modeling , qualitative analysis of test performance data such as conversation and discourse analysis , and politics and language policy issues.
Universities that have regular courses and programs that focus on language assessment at the Ph. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Part of a series on Linguistics Outline History Index. Grammatical theories. The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
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Modern language testing at the turn of the century: assuring that what we count counts
Outline History Index. Language Testing Research Colloquium.