Building a Validity Argument Through Oral Proficiency Test Specification Development

10:15 - 11:00am

Detailed test specifications contribute to a validity argument by documenting what the test purports to measure (Bachman & Palmer, 1996). This presentation describes the development of specifications for a computer-delivered oral proficiency test for language learners of high school age and above aligned to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. The paper presents methodology used to develop specifications consistent with Popham’s foundational test specification model (1978), including procedures for task writing, review, and banking. The iterative methodology presented may be replicated by other language testers to build a validity argument and provide a foundation for efficient test development.