CAL Presentation

Questions about language assessment? Resources and strategies for language teachers

March 24 – 27, 2021

Presented at: TESOL 2021 International Convention & English Language Expo
March 24 – 27, 2021


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Presenters: Margaret E. Malone, Meg Montee

Description:  Language assessment is critical to understanding what students have learned and how instructors can adjust instruction for improved teaching and learning. At the same time, understanding of language assessment principles and practices, while essential to fair and valid assessment, are varied among language professionals. How, then, can language instructors improve teaching and learning through assessment?

Language assessment literacy refers to the “knowledge, skills and principles that stakeholders” employ and need in assessment contexts (Inbar-Lourie, 2008, p 1). Yet recent research indicates that language instructors, a critical stakeholder in language teaching and assessment, may have perceptions and needs that differ from that of both language test developers and their own administrators (Deygers & Malone, 2019; Malone, 2013). Research also shows that language instructors have different levels of language assessment literacy, depending on their context (Kremmel & Harding, 2020).

The panel will first examine the research surrounding language assessment literacy for language instructors. Next, the panel will identify both systemic and local contextual factors that influence knowledge about and applications of language assessment, including the type of context and the instructor’s background. Panelists will then suggest strategies and promising approaches for approaching reliable and valid language assessment, from online resources to needs assessments.