module specification

LN7055 - Language Testing and Assessment (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Language Testing and Assessment
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
200 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay-type course work
Oral Examination 50%   Oral Presentation (weeks 7-8): analysis and evaluation of a language test
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

This module examines the core concepts and common theoretical approaches to language testing and assessment. The module encourages students to evaluate their own language testing and assessment practices more reflectively and to consider the tests that are commonly used more critically. Students will discuss the common debates in the field of language testing and assessment and will explore English language tests in terms of their practicality, reliability, validity and authenticity. Evaluating and examining local and international language tests will allow the students to become familiar with the different types, purposes and objectives of language tests. By engaging students, the module provides opportunities to begin to design and develop English language tests that are useful in teachers’ everyday practice.
The modules aims to:
1) Introduce, analyse and evaluate the main theoretical issues and current debates on matters of testing English as a second/foreign language, including the differences between testing and assessment, formative and summative assessment
2) Relate current theories and debates to students own national/professional language testing situation and every-day practices
3) Provide students with opportunities to critically analyse language tests and their application in their own contexts
4) Provide them with opportunities to begin to develop language tests that are appropriate, applicable and suitable for their teaching and assessment. 


The module will cover areas such as

Concepts in language assessment; Paradigms in language testing; Debates in language testing, Test specifications; Design & development; Benchmarks in language testing & Common European Framework; Features of a good language test. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

tudents will have access to a dedicated module site where they will find learning activities and online forums They will have access to the university library website and make use of electronic journals, ebooks, databases and full text journals. Support for developing and improving IT skills is available on the library website as well as information on other web based study support. Students will have a nominated tutor who will support and guide them through the module and who they can consult by email, telephone or Skype.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. identify and comment upon the theoretical debates within language testing;
2. demonstrate an enhanced understanding of theory in language testing and a critical awareness of how language tests are used;
3. provide a critical analysis of, and/or a theoretical rationale for language tests and assessment methods in local, national or international contexts;
4. apply this knowledge at a practical level in evaluating and analysing tests and/or in designing language tests.

Assessment strategy

There are two assessments:
• a 10-minute oral presentation
This can be submitted as a sound file. The presentation component encourages students to learn more about different language tests and to develop skills in evaluating and analysing tests from both a practitioner and researcher point of view.

• a 2000-word coursework/essay
This is submitted online. The coursework aims to provide the students with an opportunity to either explore a theoretical area of language testing to deepen their knowledge and understanding of it, or to develop their skills in designing and developing a test for their own practice.



Douglas (2010) Understanding Language Testing. London: Hodder Education
Hughes, A. (2002) Testing for Language Teachers. Cambridge: CUP
Kunnan, A. J. (2015) Language Testing and Assessment. London: Routledge 
McNamara, T. and H. G. Widdowson (2000) Language Testing. Oxford: OUP
O'Sullivan, B. (2011) Language Testing: Theories and Practices. Hampshire: Palgrave
Shohamy, E. (2017) Language Testing and Assessment. 3rd Edition. London: Springer
Journals :
Language Testing
Language Assessment Quarterly
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
ELT Journal
International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Journal of Applied Linguistics
Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics
Modern Journal of Applied Linguistics
Journal of Language Teaching and Research
Language Learning Journal
TESOL Journal
Journal of Language Teaching

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR)
Clearing House on Assessment & Evaluation
Cambridge ESOL