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Koers

On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Abstract

WEIDEMAN, Albert. Degrees of adequacy: the disclosure of levels of validity in language assessment. Koers (Online) [online]. 2019, vol.84, n.1, pp.1-15. ISSN 2304-8557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.19108/koers.84.1.2451.

The conceptualization of validity remains contested in educational assessment in general, ana in language assessment in particular. Validation and validity are the subjective and objective sides of the pr ocess of building a systematic argument for the adequacy of tests. Currently, validation is conceptualized as being dependent on the validity of the interpretation of the results of the instrument. Yet when a test yields a score, that is a first indication of its adequacy or validity. As the history of validity theory shows, adequacy is further disclosed with reference to the theoretical defensibility ("construct validity") of a language test. That analogical analytical disclosure of validity is taken further in the lingually analogical question of whether the test scores are interpretable, and meaningful. This paper will illustrate these various degrees of adequacy with reference mainly to empirical analyses of a number of tests of academic literacy, from pre-school level tests of emergent literacy, to measurements of postgraduate students' ability to cope with the language demands of their study. Further disclosures of language test design will be dealt with more comprehensively in a follow-up paper Both papers present an analysis of how such disclosures relate to a theoretical framework for responsible test design

Keywords : language testing; validity; test design; theory of applied linguistics.

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