Evaluating Language Assessments: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Evaluating Language Assessments

1st Edition

By Antony John Kunnan


274 pages

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Paperback: 9780415897778
pub: 2017-07-27
Hardback: 9780415897761
pub: 2017-07-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203803554
pub: 2017-07-06
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Evaluating Language Assessments offers a comprehensive overview of the theoretical bases and research methodologies for the evaluation of language assessments and demonstrates the importance of a fuller understanding of this widely used evaluative tool. The volume explores language assessment evaluation in its wider political, economic, social, legal, and ethical contexts while also illustrating quantitative and qualitative methods through discussions of key research studies. Suitable for students in applied linguistics, second language acquisition and language assessment and education, this book makes the case for a clear and rigorous understanding of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of language assessment evaluation in order to achieve fair assessments and just institutions.


"Kunnan’s thoughtfully-grounded principles and wide-ranging illustrative examples will quickly become—and long endure as—the landmark reference for all discussions of fairness and justice in language testing. The book establishes an innovative, rigorous, and thorough conceptual framework to evaluate the actual uses of language assessments in society."

Alister Cumming, University of Toronto, Canada, and Beijing Foreign Studies University, China

"Fairness and justice, the two important qualities of any assessment and assessment practice, seem to be suspect in most if not all assessments. This volume shows how we can apply ethical thinking to address these issues in actual practice. Antony Kunnan provides theory, practice and research to put forward his compelling arguments that make the book a superb resource for everyone concerned with assessment."

Rama Mathew, Delhi University, India

"This concise volume makes a timely contribution to the language assessment literature by building on Kunnan’s concerns for fairness and justice. In a systematic way, he takes the reader through a process of justification that can lead to clearer thinking about the use of assessments and to fairer outcomes."

Nick Saville, University of Cambridge, UK

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Language assessments: The need for evaluation

Chapter 2 Past frameworks and evaluations

Chapter 3 Ethics-based approach to assessment evaluation

Chapter 4 Building the Fairness and Justice Argument

Chapter 5 Opportunity-to-Learn

Chapter 6 Meaningfulness

Chapter 7 Absence of Bias

Chapter 8 Washback and Consequences

Chapter 9 Advancing fairness and justice

Chapter 10 Applications and implications

About the Author

Antony John Kunnan is Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of English at the University of Macau. He is a specialist on language assessment and his research has focused on fairness and justice, statistical analysis, and ethics and public policy. He was the founding editor of Language Assessment Quarterly and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asia TEFL.

About the Series

New Perspectives on Language Assessment Series

Headed by two of its leading scholars, this exciting new series captures the burgeoning field of language assessment by offering comprehensive and state-of-the-art coverage of its contemporary questions, pressing issues, and technical advances. It is the only active series of its kind on the market, and includes volumes on basic and advanced topics in language assessment, public policy and language assessment, and the interfaces of language assessment with other disciplines in applied linguistics. Each text presents key theoretical approaches and research findings, along with concrete practical implications and suggestions for readers conducting their own research or developmental studies. A companion website to the series houses such features and tools as book chapter outlines and summaries, sample testing materials, test performance data, activity sheets, quizzes, annotated bibliographies, web links to relevant institutions, and much more.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Testing & Measurement
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General