Diagnosing Foreign Language Proficiency: The Interface Between Learning and Assessment
This book addresses the need for tests that can diagnose the strengths and weaknesses in learners' developing foreign language proficiency. It presents the rationale for, and research surrounding, the development of DIALANG, a suite of internet-delivered diagnostic foreign language tests funded by the European Commission. The word 'diagnosis' is common in discussions in language education and applied linguistics, but very few truly diagnostic tests exist. However, the diagnosis of foreign language proficiency is central to helping learners make progress. This volume explores the nature of diagnostic testing, emphasizing the need for a better understanding of the nature of appropriate diagnosis. The book starts with a debate about how diagnostic testing might most appropriately be developed. Charles Alderson argues that the field has neglected to construct diagnostic tests, partly because other forms of testing have dominated the field. Alderson examines how proficiency has been diagnosed in the key areas of language: reading, listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary. The value of self-assessment is discussed and exemplified as a key component in developing learners', and teachers', awareness of the complexity of language learning. The book ends with a consideration of and recommendations for future developments in the diagnosis of foreign language proficiency.
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2 Diagnosis in other fields
3 Introduction to DIALANG
4 The history of DIALANG
5 Piloting in DIALANG
6 Setting standards
7 The Vocabulary Size Placement Test
8 The role of selfassessment in DIALANG
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analysis answer benchmarked booklet calibrated CEFR level Chapter clicking Common European Framework construct context correlations Council of Europe crosstab Danish deﬁned Descriptive statistics descriptors diagnostic tests diﬁiculty Dutch explore ﬁeld ﬁnd Finnish ﬁrst ﬁve foreign language proﬁciency German Graeme Hughes Grammar tests Grammatical ability guage Icelandic identiﬁed immediate feedback inferencing item type judges Lancaster University language ability language learning language testing learners lexical linguistic listening ability logit macro skills main idea Mean Meara Morphology mother tongue multiple-choice Norwegian one’s Overall self-assessment performance piloting Placement Test possible Project pseudo-words raters reading ability real words relationship responses sample scales second language acquisition self-assessment statements signiﬁcant differences signiﬁcantly Simple total Spanish speakers standard-setting procedures Std Deviation strengths and weaknesses subskills Swedish Table task test items test results test scores test-takers tion understand users variables vocabulary knowledge Vocabulary test VSPT scores writing ability