Module 2: Practicality
Scenario - Non-profit

DaJuan is in charge of language testing for an American organization that sends volunteers to teach English around the world.  The organization would like to test new volunteers for language skills that may be applicable in certain areas of the world and DaJuan must write testing recommendations to the directors.  DaJuan has some practical concerns about this test, because volunteers are not always interviewed and hired at the organization’s headquarters and some of the hiring sites do not have any staff with familiarity with the languages being tested.  DaJuan is also concerned about keeping the costs of the testing process relatively low.

Get out a sheet of paper.  Using the chart below, guide DaJuan 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 volunteers.  If tasks on the test require the same language that volunteers will need to use on the job, this supports the role of the test as a legitimate rating of volunteers' language skills.