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The Alternatives in Language Assessment: Advantages and Disadvantages

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Title:The Alternatives in Language Assessment: Advantages and Disadvantages
Authors:Brown, James Dean
Hudson, Thom
Contributors:Brown, James D. (advisor)
University of Hawaii at Manoa. Department of English as a Second Language. (department)
Date Issued:1998
Abstract:Language testing is different from testing in other content areas because language teachers have more choices to make than teachers of other subject matter. The purpose of this article is to help language teachers decide what types of language tests to use in their particular institutions and classrooms for their specific purposes. The various kinds of language assessments are categorized into three broad categories: (a) selected-response assessments (including tue-false, matching, and multiple' choice assessments), (b) constructed-response assessments (including fill-in, short-answer, and performance assessments), and (c) personal-response assessments (including conference, portfolio, and self/peer assessments). For each assessment type, we provide a clear definition and explore its advantages and disadvantages. We end the article with a discussion of how teachers can make rational choices among the various assessment options by thinking about (a) the consequences of the washback effect of assessment procedures on language teaching and learning, (b) the significance of feedback based on the assessment results, and (c) the importance of using multiple sources of information in making decisions based on assessment information.
Pages/Duration:25 pages
Appears in Collections: Working Papers (1982-2000)

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