Essay on Strengths of a Language Test

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Tests are an important part of the learning process and language teachers cannot obviate this fact. Language tests have not always been considered accurate and relevant. It once was asserted that they had a negative impact on the teaching and thereby, having an undesirable effect on learners (Hamp-Lyons, 1997). Without assuming that all tests have a negative impact on the learning, it is important to keep in mind that all instruments used to measure learners’ knowledge should be rigorously reviewed to assure the quality of the learning outcomes. In this paper, we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a particular language test, after what we will give general opinions about its quality. The instrument selected was intended for secondary two students as an end of the year examination. It was designed by the regional school board and covers all the competencies required by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS). Since the instrument did not provide any oral text, we added an example of such task taken from the textbook Kick-Off In English (Gattuso, 2005).

The purpose of the test is well established by different satisfying characteristics. The cover page provides information about what level the test is intended for. The whole evaluating situation is based on one exclusive theme titled “Are Cell Phones Safe?”. The theme is relevant it would be the perfect time for students of that age to be aware of the impact that the cell phone has on a person and on the society in general. Moreover, the content covers the Health and Well-being broad area of learning suggested by the program. They can use the knowledge acquired throughout the test to guide their actions in the various situations...

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...mpetency 2 Reinvests understanding of texts (C2) are phrased in a clear way and are not more difficult than the language used in the text. Therefore, the answers given by students should not be biased by the difficulty of the questions. The reinvestment part is assured by elements of the oral interaction task as well as the written texts, which are used in a new context. The oral interaction part requires students to discuss a list of questions. It is also stated that they need to take turns asking the questions. The instructions do not support the domination of a student more than another. The task gives the opportunity for everyone to participate and contribute to the discussion, given that every student is willing to participate. The writing task requires the student to create an argumentative text and the required length is well indicated in the writing booklet.

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