Understanding Language Testing presents an introduction to language tests and the process of test development that starts at the very beginning. Assuming no knowledge of the field, the book promotes a practical understanding of language testing using examples from a variety of languages.
While grounded on solid theoretical principles, the book focuses on fostering a true understanding of the various uses of language tests and the process of test development, scoring test performance, analyzing and interpreting test results, and above all, using tests as ethically and fairly as possible so that test takers are given every opportunity to do their best, to learn as much as possible, and feel positive about their language learning.
Each chapter includes a summary, suggestions for further reading, and exercises. As such this is the ideal book for both beginning students of linguistics and language education, or anyone in a related discipline looking for a first introduction to language testing.
'This is a crisp, focused, readable and stimulating book.
1. Introduction: the rubber ruler
2. Measuring language ability and making decisions
3. Test development
4. Alternatives in assessment
5. By the numbers: a statistics mini-course
6. Technology and language testing
Afterword: the rubber ruler revisited