Module 2: Practicaliy
Scenario - Business

Esmeralda works at the headquarters of a transnational finance firm in North America with branches in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.  One of her responsibilities is choosing one test for all of the branches to use for assessing the language skills of new employees.  All employees must have proficiency in English; additional language skills depend on the branch in which they work. Esmeralda has some concerns, because some branches of the company have hundreds of new employees every year and do not have time to spare for multiple tests.  However, she does have a large budget for testing services, so she can afford to have test administrators trained in giving and rating tests. Furthermore, each company office has modern computer facilities.

Get out a sheet of paper. Using the chart below, guide Esmeralda in test selection.  Then click to reveal sample answers with rationale.


Considerations for Test Administration

1.  Giving the test


2.  Directions, examples, questions, and prompts

            In English?
            In the target language?

3.  Student answers and responses

            In English?
            In the target language?

Considerations for Scoring Tests

4.  Method of scoring

            Counting the number correct?
            A holistic approach (one overall score)?
            An analytic approach (separate scores for             separate aspects of the performance)?

5.  People and steps involved in scoring

            Machine or computer-scored?

6.  Location for scoring






Positive Washback

The results from this test can be used to make the case for proficiency testing new employees.  If tasks on the test require the same language that employees will need to use on the job, this supports the role of the test as a legitimate rating of employees' language skills.