The Practice of Language Assessment

Authored by: Glenn Fulcher

Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138859814
eBook ISBN: 9781315716893
Adobe ISBN: 9781317508366


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Language teachers and applied linguists are constantly engaged with language testing and assessment. Whether informal or formal, assessment procedures are designed to collect evidence for decision making. In low-stakes classroom contexts, the evidence is used to provide formative feedback to learners (Rea-Dickins, 2006), scaffold learning (Lantolf, 2009), evaluate the quality and pace of learning, inform pedagogy, and feed into curriculum design (Shepard, 2000; Hill, 2012). In high-stakes contexts, identifiable ‘test events’ produce scores that are used to make life-changing decisions about the future of learners (Kunnan, 2013). In research, tests are used to generate data that are used to address questions regarding second language acquisition (Chapelle, 1994).

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