فهرست مطالب

Language Testing - Volume:13 Issue: 2, Oct 2023

International Journal of Language Testing
Volume:13 Issue: 2, Oct 2023

  • تاریخ انتشار: 1402/07/09
  • تعداد عناوین: 11
  • Karen Jin Wu *, Yolanda Tingyi Mei Pages 1-12
    Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF), a French knowledge test for any non-native speakers of French, is an official language exam for the certificate of proficiency in French designed by France Éducation international (FIE) and accredited by le Ministère Français de l’Éducation Nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports (French Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports). To meet the need triggered by American TOEFL and British IELTS, TCF was created in 2001 by FIE (formerly Centre International d'études Pédagogiques) and has been administrated in more than 120 countries by more than 700 centers around the world and has served for more than 2,000,000 candidates by the year 2022 for personal, academic or professional purposes (France Éducation International, n.d.). The increasing number of French learners worldwide and the growth of popularity French enjoyed give rise to the need of more reviews of test fairness and usefulness on recognized French competence tests such as TCF. However, unlike the large number of assessment practices focusing on English language testing, only a few studies available show awareness about the assessment on world languages other than English. With the hope to enrich the body of research in the field of language testing and to expand the scope of assessment on world languages, this review aims at examining the overall usefulness and fairness of TCF using Kunnan’s (2018) most recent theoretical framework of test fairness and justice. As a result, our review shows that TCF test developers have made great efforts on addressing core issues of validity, reliability, and authenticity, while there might be room for improvement to provide more meaningful and useful information to all stakeholders.
    Keywords: French as a Foreign Language, language testing, TCF, test fairness, justice framework
  • Ali Momeni *, Esmaeel Ali Salimi Pages 13-37
    In spite of the resurgence of interest in teachers' language assessment literacy (LAL), teachers' critical language assessment literacy (CLAL) has not garnered satisfactory prominence. This constitutes a substantial void in the extant corpus of literature that this study will address. To this illumination, a cross-sectional survey research approach utilizing the Critical Language Assessment Literacy (CLAL) scale (Tajeddin et al., 2022) was employed to accomplish the stated purpose of the study. The current study conveniently selected 120 Iranian EFL teachers in different language institutes and universities in Tehran and Kermanshah province. To analyze data, descriptive (e.g., mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (e.g., one sample t-test) were employed to illustrate a comprehensive answer to the study's primary research question. The results of the one-sample t-test and the mean value for all CLAL items showed that teachers have moderate or low knowledge of CLAL factors. In addition, the findings signposted that effective teachers must retain high linguistic competence, teaching/learning cognition, and knowledge of critical language assessment literacy factors; this could be accomplished by including these factors in teacher training programs. These findings displaying shortcomings and gaps in the critical language assessment literacy (CLAL) level of Iranian EFL teachers hold many theoretical and pedagogical implications for teacher development in the realm of assessment and testing at the practice, policy, and professional development levels.
    Keywords: assessment literacy, critical language assessment, critical language assessment literacy, Iranian EFL teachers' assessment literacy
  • Ali Ariamanesh *, Hossein Barati, Manijeh Youhanaee Pages 38-55
    The present study investigates the efficacy of preparation time in four speaking tasks of TOEFL iBT. As the current pre-task planning time offered by ETS is very short, 15 to 30 seconds, we intended to explore how the test-takers’ speaking quality would change if the preparation time was added to the response time, giving the respondents a relatively longer online planning opportunity. To this aim, two groups of TOEFL iBT candidates were studied under pre-task and online planning conditions. Totally, 384 elicited speaking samples were first transcribed and then measured in terms of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF). The results yielded by a series of One-way MANOVA revealed the online planning group significantly outperformed the pre-task planning group in terms of accuracy and fluency across all four speaking tasks. Although with less robustness, the online planners had significantly higher speech complexity represented by lexical diversity and left-embeddedness. The results obtained through this study may challenge the efficacy of the currently provided preparation time in TOEFL iBT speaking subsection.
    Keywords: TOEFL speaking, Pre-task Planning, Online planning, CAF, Iranian test takers
  • Kobra Tavassoli *, Zahra Sorat Pages 56-76
    Despite widespread studies on language assessment literacy (LAL), there are still many unexplored areas about LAL (Gan & Lam, 2022). One of these areas is identifying various aspects of LAL regarding different language skills and scrutinizing the English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ involvement with these aspects. Accordingly, this study attempted to (a) explore Iranian EFL teachers’ perceptions, preferences, and difficulties of oral/aural skills LAL and (b) develop a scale to measure these teachers’ oral/aural skills LAL. The study was carried out in two phases. First, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 Iranian EFL teachers to identify their perceptions, preferences, and difficulties of oral/aural skills LAL. Second, the researchers developed a questionnaire based on a review of the literature on assessing oral/aural skills and the results of interviews. The questionnaire was reviewed by experts, revised accordingly, and administered to 150 Iranian EFL teachers who were selected through convenience sampling. The reliability of the questionnaire and its construct validity were then checked. The results of both phases of the study were compatible. The outcomes showed that almost all teachers represented dissatisfaction about their oral/aural skills LAL and they were enthusiastic to participate in assessment training courses. Furthermore, it was found that due to their lack of knowledge about oral/aural skills assessment, traditional techniques of assessment were widely used by Iranian EFL teachers.
    Keywords: assessment literacy, EFL teachers, Language Assessment Literacy, oral, aural skills assessment, questionnaire development
  • Mostafa Naraghizadeh, Faramarz Azizmalayeri *, HamidReza Khalaji Pages 77-95

    The present study investigated Iranian EFL teachers' alternative assessment literacy (AAL). The study employed a sequential explanatory mixed methods design, including qualitative and quantitative approaches. To achieve more accurate results, the AAL inventory (Mertler & Campbell, 2005) and an interview with ten teachers (to explore their challenges) were used to collect the data. The study participants were 306 Iranian TEFL teachers teaching English in different language institutes in Tehran. The study results revealed that Iranian EFL teachers enjoyed moderate knowledge of AAL. Also, their beliefs in employing AAL standards in L2 classroom assessment and its related methods were valuable and appreciated presenting their awareness of the issue. In addition, they claimed to have used specific alternative assessment-related strategies and practices in the L2 classroom. The findings imply that EFL teachers' AAL is inadequate as they cannot perform well in practice, while theoretically, they are knowledgeable enough. Therefore, continuous in-service training programs on educational assessment and AAL should be considered to cater to teachers' assessment literacy problems in the Iranian context.

    Keywords: assessment literacy, alternative assessment literacy, teachers’ beliefs, Iranian EFL Teachers
  • Andy Jiahao LIU *, Riley Yiting PENG Pages 96-110
    This paper presents a critical evaluation of the English Test for International Communication (ETIC), a large-scale, computer-based, and criterion-referenced English language proficiency test developed by the China Language Assessment in 2016. The ETIC test battery comprises five categories: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior, and Translation, with the goal of assessing test-takers’ oral and written communicative language abilities in workplace contexts. Given that a revised version of ETIC with many structural changes has been in use since 2021, and the recent growth of interest in assessing communicative language abilities, a critical review of ETIC is warranted. Drawing on Kunnan’s (2018) recent model of test fairness and justice, this review primarily evaluates the usefulness and fairness of ETIC Basic, ETIC Intermediate, and ETIC Advanced. Appraisals reveal that ETIC encompasses the philosophy of fairness, justice, and usefulness in the development, administration, and scoring procedures. There is, however, room for improvement in various areas, such as establishing a test inquiry and appeal service and keeping the channels of communication open. As reviewers, we hope this article will assist language testing researchers and practitioners, teachers and students, or even potential test-takers in better understanding the unique ETIC assessment scene in China and spark more discussions about communicative language testing worldwide.
    Keywords: Communicative Language Testing, English Test for International Communication, Language Testing, Assessment, Test Fairness, Justice Framework _
  • Farhad Ghiasvand *, Zahra Banitalebi Pages 111-129
    A bulk of research has revealed that emotions play a crucial role in different aspects of second/foreign language (L2) education. However, the emotions that English as a foreign language (EFL) students experience during assessment have been neglected, so far. Against this backdrop, this qualitative study intended to unveil the typologies, antecedents, and outcomes of assessment-related emotions of 24 Iranian EFL undergraduate students studying applied linguistics. To this end, a semi-structured interview and a narrative frame were employed. The results of the thematic analysis demonstrated that undergraduate EFL students experienced different positive and negative emotions before, during, and after assessment practices at the university. Furthermore, it was found that “teacher”, “tasks”, and “textbook” were the most frequent causes of the participants’ perceived emotions in assessment. Concerning the outcomes of assessment-induced emotions, the results demonstrated that “burnout”, “frustration”, “demotivation”, “stress”, and “self-doubt” were the most frequent negative outcomes, while “motivation”, “learning”, “pride”, and “excitement” were repeatedly posited as positive outcomes. Finally, the study enumerates some implications for L2 educators and researchers concerning the role of emotions in assessment processes and practices.
    Keywords: Assessment, EFL student, emotions, narrative frame, Undergraduates
  • Samaneh Zolfaghari, Hamid Ashraf *, Hossein Khodabakhshzadeh, Gholamreza Zareian Pages 130-148

     A paradigm shift in education has led to implementing learner-centered pedagogy (LCP) which considers learners as the central element of the learning process, and it is progressively being encouraged in higher education. Examining the implementation of learner-centered pedagogy in English language teaching (ELT) context is important. While this paradigm of teaching has long been introduced to education in general and language teaching in particular, it is claimed that scant attention has been given to its implementation in Iranian EFL context. The present study was to compare the implementation of learner-centered pedagogy in assessment procedures at different Iranian universities. Therefore, using convenience sampling technique, 378 TEFL students from both genders and different ages (mostly 20 to 35 years old) were selected. To gather data, a reliable, valid researcher made LCP questionnaire was distributed among the participants. Gathered data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA. The results of the data analysis demonstrated that there was a significant difference between the performance of state university and Islamic Azad and non-state university, while no significant difference was observed between the performance of Islamic Azad and non-state university students. The outcomes can provide insights into considering learner-centered pedagogy in teaching to improve teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) program. Moreover, they can be practical for teachers, material developers, as well as syllabus designers.

    Keywords: Assessment Practices, EFL, Iranian Universities, Learner-centered Pedagogy, teacher training program
  • Mohammad Aliakbari, Ali Yasini, Setayesh Sadeghi * Pages 149-169
    Classroom assessment practices play an important role in increasing students' learning. These practices are also key to the success of curriculum reforms. In line with this importance, the current study aimed to explore Iranian EFL teachers' classroom assessment practices following the new curriculum reform introduced in 2011. It also examined whether there were differences in teachers' practices based on variables such as gender, teaching experience, and educational degree through qualitative and quantitative approaches. A total of 28 EFL teachers at public high schools from three provinces in Iran (Lorestan, Kermanshah, and Ilam) participated in the semi-structured interviews. After transcribing the interviews, recurrent themes were identified by thematic analysis. The results revealed that English teachers used primarily assessment for learning or formative assessment, yet their assessments were still exam-based. The frequency of assessment practices indicated that oral questioning during instruction (60.7%), test after each lesson or unit of lesson (50%), written exams (35.7%), and group activity (32.1%) were the most frequently used assessment practices among teachers. The findings revealed that there is a discrepancy between teachers' classroom assessment practices and the curriculum reform. Across gender, there was a significant difference between participants in terms of role play, assigning summaries of lessons, and playing audio files. Regarding teaching experience and academic degree, there was no significant difference between participants. The findings would have implications for teacher education programs and EFL teachers.Key Words: Classroom assessment; EFL teachers; Formative assessment; Practices
    Keywords: Classroom Assessment, EFL teachers, Formative Assessment, practices
  • Sharareh Sadat Sarsarabi *, Zeynab Sazegar Pages 170-187
    The statement stated in a multiple-choice question can be developed regarding two types of sentences: Interruptive (periodic) and cumulative (or loose). This study deals with different kinds of stems in designing multiple-choice (MC) items. To fill the existing gap in the literature, two groups of teacher students passing general English courses at Farhangian University were selected based on Cambridge Placement Test. The design of this study was a comparison group design. To verify the effectiveness of the stems, i.e., interruptive and cumulative stems, two types of tests based on the book entitled Thoughts and Notions 2, which was taught in General English classes, similar in content, but different in their stems, were designed. Each test contained 40 items, 25 vocabulary items, and 15 items of reading comprehension. The first group of students was given the test designed using only interruptive sentences as stems. The second group participated in the test, being prepared using only cumulative sentences as stems. After the data analysis via an independent t-test, it became apparent that the first group outperformed the second. Therefore, it was concluded that interruptive sentences as a stem in multiple-choice tests were more reliable and valid than cumulative ones. One of the study implications is that the interruptive stems can be used to assist policymakers and material designers, and language teachers to be considered for future decision making, and designing materials.
    Keywords: Cumulative stems, general English course, interruptive stems, multiple-choice tests
  • Seyed MohammadReza Amirian *, Fatemeh Malek Abbasi, Moslem Zolfagharkhani Pages 188-205

    As a result of the advent of the COVID-19 outbreak, online assessments are being implemented in universities and schools worldwide. Nevertheless, regardless of the extensive use of online assessments, many researchers have proposed several barriers to the effective application of this form of examination in different language learning contexts. A combined qualitative and quantitative methodological approach was used to investigate 154 Iranian English language learners’ opinions of the relative benefits of online examinations in terms of pedagogy, validity, reliability, affective factors, practicality, and security during the COVID- 19 pandemic. To this end, an electronic questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were employed. This study identified online assessment as having significant benefits over traditional, paper-based examinations, comprising accessibility, using cutting-edge technology, providing immediate feedback, automated grading, creating a question bank, and long-term efficiency in terms of time, effort, and costs. Nevertheless, many challenges have been identified by students while successfully implementing online exams regarding validity and reliability, emotional and security issues.

    Keywords: Online assessments, Students’ perception, COVID-19, English language teaching