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Language Tests for Social Cohesion and Citizenship Issues of Quality Assurance An Outline for Policy Makers and Test Developers. Henk Kuijper ALTE Authoring Group. Political and Social Issues. What use will be made of the test results? What will be the impact for the migrant?

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Language Tests for Social Cohesion and CitizenshipIssues of Quality AssuranceAn Outline for Policy Makers and Test Developers

Henk Kuijper

ALTE Authoring Group


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Political and Social Issues

  • What use will be made of the test results?

  • What will be the impact for the migrant?

  • What will be the consequences of a test on society?

  • Is it more appropriate to use another form of assessment, rather than a test?

  • Could it be appropriate to use several methods of assessment at the same time?



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Issues of Validity and Reliability

  • Validity: what is to be assessed and do tests reflect this aims

  • Reliability: are the tests reliable to measure these aims precisely

  • To ensure fairness for candidates


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Validity Issues: what is to be assessed

  • Determining test purpose and real work demands on test takers

  • Determining linguistic demands

  • Determining the appropriate level of difficulty

  • Producing test specifications


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Reliability Issues

  • Test format

  • Item writing

  • Pretesting

  • Test administration

  • Marking and grading

  • Data analysis

  • Monitoring bias

  • Candidates with special requirements


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Main Issues

Policymakers and test developers and are responsible for

  • The use of language tests and their purposes

  • The content, validity and reliability of language tests

  • Achieving high test standards

  • Being aware of and coping with conflicting purposes of the tests

  • Questioning if even highest quality tests can compensate for the conflicting purposes tests are used for (impact for individuals and society)

    At all times test fairness should be considered of prime importance


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