Testing & Assessment
Assessment is a critical element in language education. Well-crafted assessments provide valid, reliable, and relevant information about student progress. Assessment data can be used to inform program evaluation and instructional design to better meet the needs of language learners and the educators who serve them.
For over fifty years, CAL has been a key player in developing language tests used by many public and private agencies. CAL staff produce resources, develop tests, conduct research on language testing, and provide professional development for language teachers on assessment. Our assessment projects serve foreign and English language learners of all ages at all educational levels. This includes professional settings, such as the government and workplace.
To learn more about CAL's work and resources about this topic, browse the subtopics within this section.
The Center for Applied Linguistics is working in collaboration with Georgetown University (GU) to establish the Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC) funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
The COPI provides language educators with a computerized, time-efficient assessment of their native-English-speaking students' oral language proficiency in Arabic or Spanish.
STARTALK was created in 2006 to provide learning opportunities in the critical languages for students (K-16) and professional development for teachers of the critical languages, mainly through programs offered during the summer.
CAL collaborates with the 31-state WIDA Consortium in its work to provide standards-based assessments for English language learners, most prominently on the Consortium’s assessment of English language proficiency, ACCESS for ELLs®. The test is currently taken by over 1,000,000 students annually.
The CAL English Proficiency Test for Teachers: Reading and Writing and the CAL English Proficiency Test for Teachers: Speaking and Listening are designed to serve as diagnostic assessments for teachers of English as a foreign language, measuring teachers’ abilities linked to the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR), and allowing for suggested professional development to improve English and demonstrate growth of language skills.
Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI)
The COPI is a comprehensive oral proficiency assessment that provides reliable, valid results to help inform instruction and gauge student progress. The COPI is available in Mandarin Chinese, Modern Standard Arabic, and Spanish.
The Multimedia Rater Training Program (MRTP) is a hands-on introduction to oral proficiency assessment that teaches rating skills via CD-ROM. This computer assisted professional development program was modeled after live rater training workshops and CAL's self-instructional Rater Training Kits.