Module 2: Practicality
Scenario - Government

Ligang works for the Department of Education in his state government.  His state wants to assess the progress of its students enrolled in high school foreign language classes at the end of each year.  Ligang is in charge of writing guidelines to teachers for choosing an end-of-year proficiency test to be administered to all students, from the first to the fourth year of study.  He has some concerns about the timing and available staff for test administration.  Some schools have as many as 500 students studying one language with only 5 teachers.  Furthermore, class periods in some schools are as short as 45 minutes.  However, most schools have new computer labs with at least 30 computers each.  Ligang has a large budget to cover test expenses, including funding to train 2-5 teachers for each language in each school in administering and/or scoring tests, if necessary.

Get out a sheet of paper.  Using the chart below, guide Ligang 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 inform the curriculum.  Are students performing poorly on the writing portion?  If so, teachers can include more writing activities.  The results empower teachers to take an evidence-based approach to lesson planning.