Article published in:The Language Testing Cycle: From inception to washback
Edited by Gillian Wigglesworth and Catherine Elder
[Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. Series S 13] 1996
► pp. 188–207
Test interpretation, test use, and pedagogical implications
Test score interpretation and use are the staple of construct validity. As such, in addition to the concern with measurement accuracy, it is imperative that the meaning of test scores and their intended use(s) be also documented. Along these lines, qualitative speech analyses are undertaken in the present paper to help in the interpretation of the dimensions underlying student performance on oral tasks. Results of these analyses yield rich information that explicate the meaning of the dimensions by delineating their specific features as manifested in the speech samples. Also discussed in the paper are the ramifications of these results for pedagogical use. Insights that linguistic accuracy and communicative skills in general, and their specific features specifically, provide for instructional material and activities are addressed. Furthermore, a case is made for curricular improvements to help learners develop well-rounded L2 abilities and to improve their use of the language for real-life communication. Finally, with regard to assessment, it is argued that generic assessment criteria do not reflect the critical features operating in a given context, and assessment practitioners are urged to study their contexts of use and to tailor their criteria according to the particulars of those contexts.
Published online: 01 January 1996