Testing & Teaching
Reinforce learning and Motivate
Assessing performance or
competence? (testing)
Effects of a test
A language test: Which type of
assessment is powerful?
– (a)everyday communication
– (b)Mechanical test of structure
Negative effects
Mechanical Tests
– Grammar tests
– Translations?
– Language manipulation
Positive effect
Communicative Test
– Improved learning habits
– Motivation (to show their ability to
perform certain tasks, learning from their
weakness through feedback)
– Use language in authentic milieu
Public Exams/Standardized
Public Exams
May attempt to measure success in
communication through performing purposeful
Beneficial influence on syllabuses and teaching
non-beneficial: if it is instrumental: YDS?
Measuring each performance in comparison
with other students
Or with a certain established forms
Why test?
– Comparison
– Selection
– Practising teacher
Indivudual Evaluation:
(1)Classroom vs (2)External
(1)Clasroom Test(for making adjustment in teachers
teaching strategies, classifying) : administrative
exams; quiz, visa, final, midterm
(2)External Test (for selection): ÖSS, LGS
Outcomes of the tests
External Test: selection!
Class Test: evaluation of the effectiveness of their
– To locate precise areas of difficulty encountered by the
class or individuals
– Diagnosing weakness and difficulties (doctor)
– First identify errors then assist them
– first find difficulties of the programme then judge syllabus
– As well as methods and materials
– Pedagogical:
– Test Result } Certain unsufficient areas of syllabus for FLL}
planning remadial or further teaching (7 or six students
out of in a class of 30 or 40)
What should be tested
and to what standard?
Language is a complex phenomenon
Decriptive and prescriptive
– includes linguistic elements and nonlinguistic elements (gestures, eyemovements)
– Communication requires all these units
Standards for testing
Mistakes for L1 and L2 users
Capacity of L2 learners
Testing the Language
* Communicative Skills (integrated areas)
– Listening
– Listening and speaking
– Reading and writing
Test items must comprise use of language in
real-life communication=oral interaction
(authentic milieu)
√ questioning the ability to understand
and respond appropriately to polite
requests, advice, etc
X reading aloud or telling stories
Testing writing
Do not require students write
But, require students to write letters,
memos, reports and messages
Testing Reading &
Write questions which extract your
students creative look; specific
information of a practical nature!
But do not prefer to write questions
testing unimportant specific details!
Traditional Reading tests:answering
But not: ability to read or sense and
scan to extract specific informations,
general fluency, ability to tandle TL
Ways of assessing four
major skills
Do not consider that your purpose can
best be achieved if each separate skill
can be measured on it is own.
Because, separating each skill is
difficult in terms of communication.
Testing Language areas
Testing isolated language areas
– Grammar and usage
– Vocabulary (meaning, word formatios,
– Phonology (phonemes, stress, intonation)
Test of Grammar & Usage
M.C / item
ITEM: interrogative form or statement
M.C.: only one answer is normally correct for
each item
Test of Vocabulary
Measuring knowledge about meaning of
certain words, paterns, colocations
 Active vs passive skills
ACTIVE Vocabulary: performance in
speaking and writing
PASSIVE Vocabulary: competence;
recognizing while listening and reading
SAMPLING: to select VOCABULARY items
A Multiple choice
mechanic teast
Tests of Phonology
– Ability to recognise and pronounce the
significant sound contrasts of a language
– Ability to recognise and use the stress
patterns of a language
– Ability to hear and produce the melody or
patterns of the tunes of a language(the
rise and fall of the voice
The following test does not indicate an ability to speak. It
is just a phonem-discrimination at low level. And not
Language Skills and
Language Element
Testing students’ ability to handle
elements of language correctly?
Testing integrated skills?
– Level and purpose of the test
– if proficiency(level) is low then test
– if purpose is sampling a field: use battery
tests=assessing mastery of of language
At all levels but not elementary:
include test items measuring the
ability to communicate in L2
Not important: testing phonemes such
as /i:/ or /I/: Look at that sheep
sailing slowly out of the harbour
– Contextual clue, redundancy
Best Test:
Successful communicative test in real
life (performance)
– Thus, fluency in English can be judged:
ability to express facts, ideas, understand
what heard and read
– Oral interviews and letter-writing assess
performance in those skills used in real
– P.10 see