The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing  book cover
2nd Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing

ISBN 9781138385436
Published December 16, 2021 by Routledge
674 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This second edition of The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing provides an updated and comprehensive account of the area of language testing and assessment.

The volume brings together 35 authoritative articles, divided into ten sections, written by 51 leading specialists from around the world. There are five entirely new chapters covering the four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, as well as a new entry on corpus linguistics and language testing. The remaining 30 chapters have been revised, often extensively, or entirely rewritten with new authorship teams at the helm, reflecting new generations of expertise in the field. With a dedicated section on technology in language testing, reflecting current trends in the field, the Handbook also includes an extended epilogue written by Harding and Fulcher, contemplating what has changed between the first and second editions and charting a trajectory for the field of language testing and assessment.

Providing a basis for discussion, project work, and the design of both language tests themselves and related validation research, this Handbook represents an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and practitioners working in language testing and assessment and the wider field of language education.

Table of Contents

List of tables

List of figures

List of contributors


Editorial. Glenn Fulcher and Luke Harding

Section 1: Validity

Chapter 1: Conceptions of validity. Carol A. Chapelle and Hye-won Lee

Chapter 2: Articulating a validity argument. Michael Kane

Chapter 3: Inference and prediction in language testing. Steven J. Ross

Section 2: The Uses of Language Testing

Chapter 4: Social dimensions of language testing. Richard Young

Chapter 5: Designing language tests for specific purposes. Carol Moder and Gene Halleck

Chapter 6: Revisiting language assessment for immigration and citizenship. Antony John Kunnan

Section 3: Classroom Assessment and Washback

Chapter 7: Classroom based assessment. Janna Fox, Nwara Abdulhamid and Carolyn Turner

Chapter 8: Washback: looking backwards and forwards. Liying Cheng and Nasreen Sultana

Chapter 9: Assessing young learners. Yuko Goto Butler

Chapter 10: Dynamic assessment. Marta Antón and Próspero García

Chapter 11: Diagnostic assessment in language classrooms. Eunice Jang and Jeanne Sinclair

Section 4: Assessing the Language Skills

Chapter 12: Assessing speaking. Fumiyo Nakatsuhara, Nahal Khabbazbashi and Chihiro Inoue

Chapter 13: Assessing listening. Elvis Wagner

Chapter 14: Assessing writing. Ute Knoch

Chapter 15: Assessing reading. Tineke Brunfaut

Section 5: Test Design and Administration

Chapter 16: Test specifications. Jin Yan

Chapter 17: Evidence-centred design in language testing. Chengbin Yin and Robery Mislevy

Chapter 18: Accommodations and universal design. Jamal Abedi

Chapter 19: Rater and interlocutor training. Larry Davis

Section 6: Writing Items and Tasks

Chapter 20: Item writing and item writers. Dong-il Shin

Chapter 21: Writing integrated tasks. Lia Plakans

Chapter 22: Test-taking strategies and task design. Andrew Cohen

Section 7: Prototyping and Field Tests

Chapter 23: Prototyping new item types. Susan Nissan and Elizabeth Park

Chapter 24: Pre-operational testing. Benjamin Kremmel, Kathrin Eberharter and Franz Holzknecht

Chapter 25: Piloting vocabulary tests. John Read

Section 8: Measurement Theory in Language Testing

Chapter 26: Classical test theory. J. D. Brown

Chapter 27: Item Response Theory and Many-Facet Rasch Measurement. Gary Ockey

Chapter 28: Reliability and dependability. Xun Yan and Jason Fan

Chapter 29: Scoring performance tests. Evelina Galaczi and Gad Lim

Section 9: Technology in Language Testing

Chapter 30: Validity and the automated scoring of performance tests. Xiaoming Xi

Chapter 31: Computer-based testing. Yasuyo Sawaki

Chapter 32: Corpus linguistics and language testing. Sara Cushing

Section 10: Ethics, Fairness and Policy

Chapter 33: Ethics and fairness. F. Scott Walters

Chapter 34: Standards in language proficiency measurement. Bart Deygers

Chapter 35: Quality management in test production and administration. Nick Saville and Sarah McElwee


Chapter 36: Language testing: where are we heading? Luke Harding and Glenn Fulcher


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Glenn Fulcher is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Language Assessment. He has served as president of the International Language Testing Association and as editor of the journal Language Testing. His Routledge book Re-examining Language Testing was joint winner of the SAGE/ILTA book award, together with the first edition of this Handbook.

Luke Harding is Professor in Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University (UK). His research interests are in applied linguistics and language assessment, particularly assessing listening and speaking, World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca, and language assessment literacy and professional ethics. He is currently co-editor of the journal Language Testing.


'The first edition of this volume received the highest possible kudos of any book in the field of language testing through receipt of the SAGE/International Language Testing book prize. This set a high and seemingly unattainable bar for the second edition. Remarkably, the current collection has paralleled and possibly even surpassed the excellence of the earlier edition. By compiling the latest thinking of a varied and high-caliber roster of contributors and serving as a crucial benchmark for tracking developments, the collective wisdom in this volume will, no doubt, continue to shape the future of the field. This book is an indispensable resource for new and seasoned language testing researchers and practitioners alike. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, I would highly recommend it for libraries at all institutions offering training in applied linguistics or related subjects.'

Talia Isaacs, University College London, UK

'Editors Fulcher and Harding have invited leading researchers across the globe to identify critical issues in the field of language testing and assessment and to make predictions about its future. 36 chapters, covering philosophical, social and technical aspects of the discipline, offer thought-provoking reading for anyone engaging with language tests, whether as researcher, practitioner or policy-maker.'

Catherine Elder, University of Melbourne, Australia

Praise for the 1st edition:

'This thorough and comprehensive introduction to the practical and theoretical dimensions of language testing and assessment is set to become a standard reference. With chapters by leading international authorities in the field, it is both intellectually stimulating and practically useful, and is a must-read for those involved in language testing as test developers, test users, policy makers and researchers.'

Tim McNamara, The University of Melbourne, Australia

'I found this book to be the finest collection of cogent articles on language testing to date. The Handbook solidifies language testing as a discipline in its own right-one that has real-world impacts on society at large. Stimulating and clear, the articles will be a valuable resource for decades to come.'

Paula Winke, Michigan State University, USA

"In the collection of articles edited by Fulcher and Davidson, the editors have succeeded in assembling a set of contributors with an unparalleled level of expertise in their respective areas, and with distinctive talents in communication. The strength of this extremely well-edited collection lies in the interweaving of theoretical and practical aspects of language testing through nine broad themes, and in the structuring of individual contributions to provide a historical perspective, a discussion of current issues and contributions, and a consideration of future directions. The volume stands not only to have a wide impact on best practice in the field, but also in the development of language assessment literacy in other professionals who find themselves involved in activities of language assessment."

2016 SAGE/ILTA Book Award statement