Principles Of Language Assessment

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Task 2a
Choose an assessment tool used to assess language skill / content in schools. Take note of the test employed and evaluate it with regards to the four basic principles of language assessment.

Assessment and examinations are viewed as highly important in most Asian countries such as Malaysia. Language tests and assessment have also become a prevalent part of our education system. Often, public examination results are taken as an important national measures of school accountability. While schools are ranked and classified according to their students’ performance in major public examinations, scores from language tests are used to infer individuals’ language ability.

Assessment is every so often a misunderstood term. Assessment is a
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It is an on going process in educational practice, which involves a multitude of methodological techniques. A test may be assessed formally or informally, subconsciously or consciously, as well as incidental or intended by an appraiser.

Assessment tools, whether formal tests or informal assessments, serve multiple purposes. Commercially designed and administered tests may be used for measuring proficiency, placing students into one of several levels of course, or diagnosing students’ strengths and weaknesses according to specific linguistic categories, among other purposes.
Classroom-based teacher-made tests might be used to diagnose difficulty or measure achievement in a given unit of a course. Specifying the purpose of and stating its objectives are an essential first step in choosing, designing, revising, or adapting an assessment tool.

For this task, I have obtained sample of exam papers for Year 4 from my previous practicum school, SK Cheting, Kuala Berang. The exam papers are divided into 2, Paper 1 and Paper 2. The Paper 1 consists of 40 multiple choice questions whereas Paper 2 consists of 3 sections; Section A, Section B and Section C. I will be evaluating this assessment tool that I have chosen based on four basic principles of language assessment; Reliability, Validity, Washback effects and
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In most tests, it is normally teachers who construct and administer the test for students. Thus, any good teacher-student relationship would help increase the consistency of the results. Other factors that contribute to positive effects to the reliability of a test include teacher’s encouragement, positive mental and physical condition, familiarity to the test formats, and perseverance (determination) and motivation.

The third factors that affect the reliability of a test are the environment factors. An examination environment certainly influences test-takers and their scores. Any favourable environment with comfortable chairs and desks, good ventilation, sufficient light and space will improve the reliability of the test. On the contrary, a non-conducive environment will affect test-takers’ performance and test reliability.

The fourth factors that affect the reliability of a test are the administration factors. Because students' grades are dependent on the way the test are being administered, test administrators should strive to provide clear and accurate instructions, sufficient time and careful monitoring of tests to improve the reliability of their tests. A test-re-test technique can be used to determine test

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