Validity in Language Assessment

by Carol A. Chapelle
Annual Review of Applied Linguistics ()


Provides a history of validation in language testing, discusses current approaches to validation in language testing (hypothesis about testing outcomes, relevant evidence for testing the hypothesis, developing a validity argument), and gives an overview of current challenges in language-test validation (defining the language construct to be measured, developing a validity argument for a particular test case, applying validation theory to language-testing practice). (Author/VWL) All previous papers on language assessment in the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics make explicit reference to validity. These reviews, like other work on language testing, use the term to refer to the quality or acceptability of a test. Beneath the apparent stability and clarity of the term, however, its meaning and scope have shifted over the past years. Given the significance of changes in the conception of validity, the time is ideal to probe its meaning for language assessment.

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