chapter 3 - Cengage

chapter 3 - Cengage

CHAPTER 3 ANOTHER DILEMMA: CONTRASTING PAIRS OF CONCEPTS SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING If you are particularly interested in assessment issues in En...

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CHAPTER 3 ANOTHER DILEMMA: CONTRASTING PAIRS OF CONCEPTS SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING If you are particularly interested in assessment issues in English language teaching in Japan, JD Brown and Sayoko O. Yamashita edited a book entitled Language Testing in Japan (1995). In 2008, Kobayashi and Negishi published an interview with Professor Kenji Ohtomo, who is described as the founding father of language testing in Japan, in Language Assessment Quarterly. We agree with Professor Ohtomo’s conclusion that “in order to develop the language test theory, it is definitely necessary to have more communication among teachers, researchers, test publishers and test users” (Kobayashi & Negishi, 2008, p. 262). Robert Wilkinson, Vera Zegers, and Charles van Leeuwen (2006) have edited an interesting book entitled Bridging the Assessment Gap in English-medium Higher Education. The chapters include discussions of assessment in Hungary, Norway, The Netherlands, Thailand, Sweden, South Africa, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Spain, Wales, and Finland. Assessment issues have been studied in other countries as well. For example, there is a publication entitled Assessment in the Arab World (Davidson, Coombe, & Jones, 2005). It includes chapters on a wide range of assessment topics. Language assessment issues have also been discussed in the context of Hong Kong (Qian, 2008) and Thailand (Prapphal, 2008). At the time of this writing, China has the largest number of English language test-takers in the world, and in 2010, Liying Cheng and Andy Curtis published an edited collection entitled Language Assessment and the Chinese Learner. It contains chapters by language assessment scholars from across China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, working with colleagues in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. See also Cheng (2008). One reason for conducting indirect assessments is that they may be more efficient to administer and score than direct assessments. For instance, if there were a valid and reliable indirect paper-and-pencil test of speaking that could be administered to several people at once, it would be more efficient than conducting oral interviews with individual students one at a time. One interesting indirect test of speaking is called the conversational cloze test. As the name suggests, this is a cloze passage, but the text is based on the transcript of an actual conversation. Copyright © 2015 National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage Learning. Permission granted to photocopy for use in class.

Some early studies showed surprisingly high correlations between student performance on direct tests of speaking and scores on conversational cloze tests (see, e.g., D. Brown, 1983, and Hughes, 1981). More recently, Sohel Rana (2009) published an article on conversational close testing as a measure of English abilities in schools in West Bengal, India. Also in 2009, Sasan Baleghizadeh, working with adult English language learners in Iran, wrote an article on the effectiveness of pair work on conversational cloze tasks. Baleghizadeh, S. (2009). Investigating the effectiveness of pair work on a conversational cloze task in EFL classes. TESL Reporter, 42(2), 1–12. Brown, D. (1983). Conversational cloze tests and conversational ability. ELT Journal, 37(2), 158–161. Brown, J. D., & Yamashita, S. O. (Eds.). (1995). Language testing in Japan. Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Association for Language Teaching. Cheng, L. (2008). Washback, impact and consequences. In E. Shohamy & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education: Volume 7: Language testing and assessment (pp. 349–364). New York, NY: Springer. Davidson, P., Coombe, C., & Jones, W. (2005). Assessment in the Arab world. Dubai: TESOL Arabia. Hughes, A. (1981). Conversational cloze as a measure of oral ability. ELT Journal, 35(2), 161– 168. Kobayashi, M., & Negishi, M. (2008). An interview with Professor Ohtomo: The founding father of language testing in Japan. Language Assessment Quarterly, 5(3), 244–266. Prapphal, K. (2008). Issues and trends in language testing and assessment in Thailand. Language Testing, 25(1), 127–143. Qian, D. (2008). English language assessment in Hong Kong. Language Testing, 25(1), 85–110. Rana, S. (2009). Conversational cloze as a measure of ability in English in Indian schools. Language in India, 9(12), 31–42. Wilkinson, R., Zegers, V., & van Leeuwen, C. (Eds.). (2006). Bridging the assessment gap in English-medium higher education. Bochum, Germany: AKS-Verlag Bochum.

Copyright © 2015 National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage Learning. Permission granted to photocopy for use in class.

HELPFUL WEBSITES JALT—the Japan Association for Language Teaching—has a special interest group (SIG) concerned with language assessment. You can find their website here: http://teval.jalt.org/. To learn more about the normal distribution and to see images of other score distributions, please visit http://www.mathsisfun.com/data/standard-normal-distribution.html. A good explanation of z scores and a clear example can be found here: http://www.acastat.com/Statbook/zscore.htm. You can find a discussion of standardized scores and the normal distribution here: https://statistics.laerd.com/statistical-guides/standard-score.php.

Copyright © 2015 National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage Learning. Permission granted to photocopy for use in class.