What Is Formal Assessment

2189 Words9 Pages
Chapter one sheds the light on the theoretical side of this research work. It is divided into two main parts: the first part will be concerned with assessments in general and the second part with the assessment of the speaking skill in particular. The first part first introduces the definition of the key concepts of the study, then mention in some detailed way the main principles of tests and testing. After that, it provides a historical point of view of testing and assessments. The second part firstly investigates the nature of the term speaking providing different views. Then, it deals with the assessment of this skill mentioning the types of speaking tests, the challenges that face test developers in designing such tests, the different tasks…show more content…
1-3-2-1 Formal Assessment Formal assessment is performed under special classroom conditions. It is evaluated by giving grades to each student’s work. There are four main types of test: Placement test, Achievement test, Proficiency test, and Diagnostic test. A placement test is needed to place learners in their right classes according to their levels “The aim is to produce groups which are homogeneous in level that will use institutional and teacher time most effectively.” (Harris & McCann, 1994, p. 29). It has to be noted in this type of assessment that it should be performed at the beginning of the year or the course as its function is to put the learners in their right classes. Anachievementtest is performed at the end of a course to determine how much learners have learnt, or, as its name indicates, what learners have achieved at the end of a course, “...their purpose being to establish how successful individual student, groups of students, or the courses themselves have been in achieving objectives.” (Hughes, 2003, p.…show more content…
Content validity is one of the evidence that helps establishing the validity of a test. It is the degree of matching between the test content and the test objectives. Criterion-related validityis another evidence that is related to the degree of agreement between the results obtained and some criterion measures (Brown, 2004). Face validityis also a useful sign. It is linked to the appearance of the test. It is “the degree to which a test looks right, and appears to measure the knowledge or abilities it claims to measure, based on the subjective judgment of the examinees who take it”(Brown, 2004, p. 26). Another confirmation of a test validity is construct validity, which means the interpretation of scores given by the scorer as a proof of the testees’ language ability. Bachman and Palmer state that; …. We need to demonstrate, or justify the validity of scores and not simply assert or argue that they are valid… The term construct validity is therefore used to refer to the extent to which we can interpret a given test score as an indicator of the ability(ies) or construct(s), we want to measure(1996, p. 21) The term ‘construct’ means any characteristic, ability or skill that occurs in the human
Open Document