What is Understanding Assessment?

Understanding Assessment: A Guide for Foreign Language Educators is a tutorial on language testing for foreign language educators.  It is designed to help new users of the Center for Applied Linguistics' Foreign Language Assessment Directory (FLAD) and it is also an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn more about language testing.

How should I use this resource?
  • Use the buttons on the left to go through the modules in order.

  • This tutorial is divided into 7 modules, most of which have an introduction page and 3 subsections.

    1. Introduction
      • Key concepts
      • Test selection
      • Example
    2. Practicality
    3. Reliability
    4. Validity
    5. Impact
    6. Putting It Together
    7. Resources

  • Clicking on "Home" will bring you back to this page.  Clicking on "CAL Home" will take you to the homepage of the Center for Applied Linguistics.

  • Some pages have pictures and text on the right which can deepen your understanding of a topic.

  • Bold blue words will take you to the glossary in the Resources module.  Regular blue words are links.

  • A Forms section in the Resources module contains blank copies of all the forms from this tutorial that you can use.

What can I learn from this tutorial?


This tutorial supplies tools to help you single out tests to match your needs and your students’ needs.  By the end of the tutorial, you will be able to:

1. Define essential testing terms.
2. Evaluate the practical factors involved in test selection.
3. Identify purposes for different types of tests.
4. Locate more resources to assist with test selection.


Focus On............ Assessment


Knowing more about assessment can benefit you in many ways.  It can help you to make decisions about test selection, curriculum, and instruction.