About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4135-4139
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

NEW PERSPECTIVES IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST WRITING: A PROFESSIONAL SKILL OR A LEARNING EXPERIENCE?

N. Pak

Kazakh British Technical University (KAZAKHSTAN)
The rapid economic and political changes in the Republic of Kazakhstan since it got independence in 1991 have inevitably had an impact on English Language Teaching (ELT). They demand new approaches to the process of language teaching aimed at training a new language user relevant to the socio-economic needs of the country. Higher educational institutions respond to this task improving the quality of education, searching for new technologies, elaborating competitive strategies, developing curriculum, etc.

Testing is an integral part of language teaching. There are many reasons for it. First, it helps evaluate the effectiveness of the programme, course-books, materials and methods. It also gives a lot of important information both for teachers and students, identifies areas of remedial work, provides students with a sense of achievement and progress in their learning, and others.

Most teachers are involved in testing in some form, either invigilating, marking or actually writing tests. Writing a good test is indeed quite a challenge. It requires a lot of things from a teacher: knowledge, experience, patience, a degree of trial and error, etc. The paper deals with the issue of test writing in general and the author’s testing experience in particular. It covers the basic concepts of testing, types of tests, stages of test construction, and test analysis.

The author who is currently a professor at Kazakh British Technical University shares her experience and challenges in test writing. Having taught English for about 25 years she gives some tips to those who are involved in this process. She also highlights new trends and innovative approaches in test construction.

The area of English language testing has been neglected in Kazakhstan and has lagged far behind developments in language teaching and testing. Many teachers don’t have any experience or qualification in writing tests. Moreover they don’t receive any training in this sphere and are on their own in test construction. The result is they write traditional grammar-based items in a discrete-point format that does not fit the modern communicative orientation or the underlying teaching principles.

The paper outlines several internationally certified tests like IELTS and TOEFL. Having been developed by a board of professionals, they serve as valid and reliable samples of perfect tests. They follow all the methodological principles of test compiling. Different universities, colleges, schools and simply individuals do these tests on different reasons, which vary from defining a language level to getting a job.

The author strongly believes that participation in the EDULEARN09 conference and sharing ideas with its participants will lead to better understanding of current ELT process, and open new perspectives to follow in English teaching and test writing.
@InProceedings{PAK2009NEW,
author = {Pak, N.},
title = {NEW PERSPECTIVES IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST WRITING: A PROFESSIONAL SKILL OR A LEARNING EXPERIENCE?},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4135-4139}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Pak
TI - NEW PERSPECTIVES IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST WRITING: A PROFESSIONAL SKILL OR A LEARNING EXPERIENCE?
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4135
EP - 4139
ER -
N. Pak (2009) NEW PERSPECTIVES IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST WRITING: A PROFESSIONAL SKILL OR A LEARNING EXPERIENCE?, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4135-4139.
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