• Local language testing: Local needs and conditions require context-appropriate responses

    Xun Yan
    Slobodanka Dimova (see profile) , April Ginther
    Item Type:
    Meeting Title:
    17th EALTA Conference
    Meeting Org.:
    European Association for Language Testing and Assessment
    Meeting Loc.:
    Meeting Date:
    1-6 June 2021
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    Large-scale tests have a wide-reaching impact; however, within their contexts, local language tests have a deeper influence on day-to-day language assessment practice and research. Showcasing local tests from three distinct contexts, China, Denmark, and the United States, this symposium discusses how test embeddedness in local contexts mediates innovation and diversity in assessment research and practice. Local language tests begin where large-scale tests end. They serve a variety of purposes that cannot be effectively addressed using either standardized, commercial alternatives, or classroom assessments. To this end, this symposium discusses an array of contextual variables and illustrates how these variables shape the design, implementation, and use of local language tests, making each of them unique and distinguishable from large-scale tests. Each presentation addresses specific factors in their local context and concludes with a discussion of challenges, lessons learned, recommendations, and impacts across contexts. The most notable characteristic of local language tests is the close alignment among testing, teaching, and learning. As Papers 1 and 2 explicate, local language tests are embedded in the local context and serve purposes linked to language teaching and learning for. Another notable impact of the local assessment context is in task design because it brings about opportunities for task design that would allow the test to isolate a segment of the full proficiency scale or language use domains, expand the segment, then provide an enhanced measurement through which more fine-grained evaluation of test performances can be performed and diverse score inferences can be drawn. As discussed in Papers 3 and 4, the nature of language tasks used in local tests can range from tasks typically seen in large-scale tests to tasks one would more likely see in SLA research settings.
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    4 days ago
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