LING 460: Language Test Construction and Evaluation

Course Aims and Objectives

The aims of this module are to:

  • familiarise you with the ways in which tests are constructed and validated
  • enable you to construct and validate your own tests
  • enable you to critically evaluate test items.

Course Content

Topics to be covered during the course include:

  • basic concepts in language testing
  • the test design process
  • establishing test reliability
  • test validation procedures
  • analysing test performance qualitatively and quantitatively
  • the testing of reading, writing, listening and speaking

The course will involve 19 contact hours, in seminars and workshops, with group and individual presentations. Students will be expected to do preparatory reading, and there will also be a number of practical tasks, sometimes involving group work, which students will be required to complete before particular sessions.


A 5,000 word written assignment.

Recommended Reading

Core reading

Alderson, J. C., Clapham, C., & Wall, D. (1995). Language test construction and evaluation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brown, H. D., & Abeywickrama, P. (2010). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices. New York: Pearson Education.

Other recommended reading

Douglas, D. (2010). Understanding language testing. London: Hodder Education.
Fulcher, G. (2010). Practical language testing. London: Hodder Education.
Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Volumes from: Alderson, J. C., & Bachman, L. F. (Eds.). Cambridge language assessment series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


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