module specification

LN7055 - Language Testing and Assessment (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
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
 
144 hours Guided independent study
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay or test design (2,000-2,500)
Oral Examination 50%   Test critique (oral presentation)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module examines the core concepts and main theoretical approaches to language testing and assessment. The module encourages students to evaluate their own experiences of language testing and assessment practices in a reflective manner and to examine the most widely used standardised tests from a critical perspective. The module encourages students to discuss common debates in the field of language testing and assessment and analyse English language tests in terms of their practicality, reliability, validity and authenticity.

Evaluating and examining local and international language tests will allow students to become familiar with the different types, purposes, and objectives of language tests. The module also offers opportunities to design and develop English language tests that can be potentially useful in the students’ future teaching practice.

In this module, you will:

  • Analyse, and evaluate the main theoretical issues and current debates on matters of testing English as a second/foreign language
  • Relate current theories and debates to your own national/professional language testing situation and everyday practices
  • critically analyse language tests and their application in local and global contexts, including your own
  • develop language tests that are appropriate, relevant, and suitable for your teaching and assessment context

Prior learning requirements

None

Syllabus

The module introduces different types of language assessment methods and discusses the role that testing and assessment has in the learning and teaching process. Students will study key aspects of language testing, such as validity, reliability, washback, authenticity and interactiveness (LO1, LO2). The module also explores how language skills are currently assessed by analysing a variety of tests and introduces alternative assessment methods for students to critically evaluate (LO3).

As part of the module, students also examine the role of feedback, formative and summative language assessment, as well as study the creation and analysis of rubrics and rating scales (LO4). The module also offers an introduction to the use of technology in language assessment and discusses the impact of the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) in the English language teaching profession (LO2, LO3).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students enrolled in this module will be encouraged to engage with recommended readings in preparation for each class. As the module adopts a blended-learning approach, students will have access to a dedicated module site (Weblearn) where they will find learning activities, class materials, lesson recordings, and online forums where they can interact with peers and tutors in synchronous and asynchronous ways.

Our students will have access to the university library website and make use of electronic journals, e-books, databases and full-text journals. Support for developing and improving IT skills, as well as information on other web-based study support, is available on the library website. Students will have a nominated tutor who will support and guide them through the module and who they can consult in person, by email, or via a designated video-conference software.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. identify and comment upon the theoretical debates within language testing (LO1)
  2. demonstrate an enhanced understanding of theory in language testing and a critical awareness of how language tests are used (LO2)
  3. provide a critical analysis of, and/or a theoretical rationale for language tests and assessment methods in local, national, and international contexts (LO3)
  4. apply this knowledge at a practical level in evaluating and analysing tests and in designing language tests (LO4)

Assessment strategy

There are two assessments for this module:

(1) an individual presentation (15 minutes) in which the student presents a critique of a language test which has been designed for a specific group of learners in a particular context (e.g., standardised test, university/school English test, national English test, etc.). Students are expected to comment on the test validity, reliability of score, impact, and any other important aspects of assessment that are relevant to the task. The presentation also includes a Q&A session for the student to answer questions from their peers and tutor(s).

b) a 2000–2500-word coursework/essay in which the student will critically evaluate a theoretical area of language testing (topic/question to be negotiated with the tutor)

or

present a design for an English language test aimed to assess a chosen group of students in a particular context, together with its rationale and justification (2,000 – 2,500 words in total).

Bibliography