Types of tests used in English Language Teaching Bachelor Paper

We will commence our discussion with direct testing that according to Hughes (1989:14) means the involvement of a skill that

Types of tests used in English Language Teaching Bachelor Paper

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University of Latvia

Faculty of Modern Languages

English Department

 

 

 

 

 

Types of Tests Used in English Language.

 

Bachelor Paper

 

 

 

 

 

Anželika Ozerova

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riga

2004

 

 

Declaration of academic Integrity

 

I hereby declare that this study is my own and does not contain any unacknowledged material from any source.

 

Signed:

12 May, 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract.

 

The present paper attempts to investigate various types of tests and their application in the language classroom. The theoretical part deals with the basic data about testing, the comparison of such issues as assessment and valuation, reasons for testing, types of tests, such as diagnostic, progress, achievement, placement and proficiency tests; test formats and ways of testing.

It relates theory to practice by analyzing two proficiency tests: TOEFL and CFC tests. They are carefully discussed and compared to find any similarities or differences in their structure and design. The conclusions drawn are based on the theory and analyses of the tests. The data obtained indicate that the both tests though being sometimes different in their purpose, design and structure, are constructed according to the universally accepted pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction …………………………………………………........................1

Chapter 1

What is test?……………………………………………………………………3

 

Chapter 2

2.1 Inaccurate tests……………...…………………………………………….7

2.2 Validity……………………..……………………………………………..8

2.3 Reliability………….. ……………………………………………………11

Chapter 3

3.1 Diagnostic tests………………………………. ………………………….13

3.2 Placement tests…………………………...……………………………….15

3.3 Progress tests……………………………………………...........................17

3.4 Achievement tests………………………..……………………………….18

3.5 Proficiency tests…………………………………………………………..20

Chapter 4

4.1 Direct and Indirect testing…..…………………………………………....22

4.2 Discrete point and integrative testing……………………………………..24

4.3 Criterion-refernced and Norm-referenced testing…………………………25

4.4 Objective and Subjective testing...………………………………………..26

4.5 Communicative language testing…………………………………………26

Chapter 5

5.1 Multiple choice tests………………………………………………………29

5.2 Short answer tests…………………………………………………………32

5.3 The Cloze tests and Gap-filling tests……………………………………..33

5.4 C-Test……………………………………………………………………..35

5.5 True/false items……………………………………………………………36

5.6 Dictation…………………………………………………………………...36

5.7 Listening Recall……………………………………………………………38

5.8 Testing Grammar through Error-recognition Items……………………….38

5.9 Controlled Writing…………………………………………………………39

5.10 Free Writing………………………………………………………………40

5.11 Test Formats Used in Testing Speaking Skills…………………………..41

Chapter 6

Analysis of the Test of English as a Foreign Language and Cambridge First

Certificate test according to test design criteria………………………………..43

Conclusions…………………………………………………………………...55

Theses. ………………………………………………………..........................57

Bibliography…………………………………………………….......................59

Appendix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Among all words used in a classroom there is the only word that usually makes the students shudder: “test”. There is hardly a person who would claim that s/he favours tests and finds them very motivating. However, tests cannot be avoided completely, for they are inevitable elements of learning process. They are included into curriculum at schools and are to check the students level of knowledge and what they are able to do; they could be accomplished at the beginning of the study year and at the end of it; the students could be tested after working on new topics and acquiring new vocabulary. Moreover, the students are to face the tests in order to enter any foreign university or reveal the level of their English language skills for themselves. For that purpose they take specially designed tests that are Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL test (further in the text) and CFC (further in the text), or Cambridge First Certificate. Although, these tests can sometimes serve for different purposes and are unrelated, they are sometimes quite common in their design and structure. Therefore, the author of the paper is particularly interested in the present research, for she assumes it to be of a great significance not only for herself, but also for the individuals who are either involved in the field or just want to learn more about TOEFL and CFC tests, their structure, design and application. Therefore, the present research will display various aspects of the theory discussed, accompanied with the practical part vastly analyzed.

Thus, the goal of the present research is to investigate various types of test formats and ways of testing, focusing particularly on TOEFL and CFC tests, in order to see how the theory is used and could be applied in practice.

The hypothesis is as follows: Serving for almost similar purpose, however being sometimes different in their design and structure, the TOEFL and CFC tests are usually constructed according to the accepted universal pattern.

The enabling objectives are as follows:

  • To review literature on the nature of tests in order to make theoretically well-motivated discussions on the choice of testing types;
  • To analyse the selected types of tests, such as TOEFL and CFC tests;
  • To draw relevant conclusions.

Methods of Research:

Theoretical:

  1. Analytical and selective study of the theory available;
  2. Juxtaposition of the ideas selected from theory and tested against practical evidences;
  3. Drawing conclusions.

Practical:

  • Selecting and adapting appropriate tests types, such as TOEFL and CFC, to exemplify the theory.

 

The paper consists of six chapters each including sub-chapters. Chapter 1 discusses the general data about tests. Chapter 2 describes reliability and validity. Chapter 3 focuses on various types of tests. Chapter 4 deals with ways of testing. Chapter 5 speaks on four language skills. Chapter 6 offers the practical part of the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

What is test?

 

Hicks (2000:155) considers that the role of tests is very useful and important, especially in language learning. It is a means to show both the students and the teacher how much the learners have learnt during a course. The author of the paper agrees with the statement, for she believes that in order to see whether the students have acquired the material and are making constant progress, the teacher will inevitably have to test his/her learners. It does not mean that a usual test format with a set of activities will be used all the time. To check the students knowledge the teacher can apply a great range of assessment techniques, including even the self-evaluation technique that is so beloved and favoured by the students. Moreover, according to Heaton (1990:6), tests could be used to display the strength and weaknesses of the teaching process and help the teacher improve it. They can demonstrate what should be paid more attention to, should be worked on and practised. Furthermore, the tests results will display the students their weak points, and if carefully guided by the teacher, the students will be even able to take any remedial actions.

Thompson (Forum, 2001) believes that students learn more when they have tests. Here we can both agree and disagree. Certainly, preparing for a test, the student has to study the material that is supposed to be tested, but often it does not mean that such type of learning will obligatory lead to acquisition and full understanding of it. On the opposite, it could often lead to the pure cramm

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