Alignment of Policy with Context
An integral consideration of test consequence aims to provide evidence that language tests are oriented in a way that produces results useful to particular groups, communities, or society as a whole. In this sub-theme, we explore how decisions about the use of tests have been made according to considerations of localised group needs and goals and the impacts of an alignment or misalignment of this perspective.
Policy decisions impact all stakeholders when implemented in educational systems, and it is often the end-user – test practitioners and test-takers – that fully feels the effects of assessment policy. This sub-theme looks at how a range of different stakeholders have or have not adapted to policy decisions, their motivations for doing so, and the impact of these decisions on language proficiency.
Assessment and Inclusion
An important responsibility of test developers is to ensure that tests are fair and accessible for all individuals in educational systems, which is reflected in ILTA’s code of ethics, stating: “Language testers shall have respect for the humanity and dignity of each of their test takers. They shall provide them with the best possible professional consideration and shall respect all persons’ needs, values and cultures in the provision of their language testing service.” This sub-theme explores how policy makers, testing boards, or teachers strive to make tests inclusive for all test-takers.
Implementing Performance Assessment
With a greater understanding of international standards and communicative language ability, policy makers around the East Asia region are increasingly interested in the assessment of all four skills involved in communication, include the performance of writing and speaking. Nonetheless, this presents challenges at the implementation level, as institutions and educators may be ill-equipped to deal with the practicalities involved. This sub-theme looks at the challenges and impact of the introduction of performance assessment into classrooms and educational systems.
Technology and Consequences
As we advance into the 21st century, technology is playing a more important role in education and particularly in language assessment. Computer-based delivery of tests, computer-automated assessment, and even automated formative feedback of performance skills are increasingly common. This sub-theme invites explores the use and consequences of technology in language assessment.