This book is designed to introduce teachers and students to the practice of language testing, so that they will be able to design, build, and evaluate their own tests. There is a strong focus on classroom assessment, as well as providing an introduction to standardized and standards-based testing. The themes of the book also integrate with material on this website. Each chapter also has extensive discussion, practice and writing activities, providing an ideal introductory course in language testing and assessment. Read the blurb for more detailed information.
As it says on the cover, this is an advanced resource book. Its focus is on test and assessment validation set within a new approach that draws on the philosophy of pragmatism to relate test design to intended effects and consequences. Written for people working with language tests and assessments in their professional lives, and graduate students at masters and doctoral levels, it also provides key readings from the field as well ideas for projects and research. Read the blurb for more detailed information.
The first and most extensive treatment of testing second language speaking. After a brief historical account of the evolution of speaking tests, the book discusses how we can define speaking, and describes the range of tasks that we can use to elicit speech. It also deals with the process of test design with a special focus on designing rating scales to score speaking performances, and the writing of test specifications. Other chapters look at rater and interlocutor training, test administration, speaking test evaluation, and the tools and techniques we can use in researching speaking tests. Examples and illustrations are used throughout.
INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE TESTING ASSOCIATION BEST ARTICLE AWARD
The award committee found the paper by Fulcher and Davidson an excellent conceptual paper that emphasizes the centrality of test purpose in test design decisions, and proposes a systematic approach to evaluating test revisions and test retrofit. The paper is very well-written and the authors guide the reader step by step through the processes of careful decision-making that language testers should undergo when changing tests or test purposes. The use of the architecture metaphor is well-chosen and makes the argument compelling and accessible to a broad audience including practitioners. Test retrofit has been heatedly debated in public forums but has never seen such a systematic treatment in the scientific literature as in this paper. The authors make a strong and timely contribution to the field of language testing in a period where tests are being used for purposes they were not originally intended for, or misused entirely, but the consequences of test change or change of test purpose for the validation process can hardly be found in the literature. Fulcher and Davidson provide the language testing field with the appropriate terminology and guidance for this important and timely topic.
The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing offers a critical and comprehensive discussion of language testing and assessment within the fields of applied linguistics and language study.
An understanding of language testing is essential for applied linguistic research, language education, and a growing range of public policy issues. This handbook is an indispensable introduction and reference to the study of the subject. Specially commissioned chapters by leading academics and researchers of language testing address the most important topics facing researchers and practitioners, including:
* An overview of the key issues in language testing
* Key research methods and techniques in language test validation
* The social and ethical aspects of language testing
* The philosophical and historical underpinnings of assessment practices
* The key literature in the field
* Test design and development practices through use of practical examples
The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing is the ideal resource for postgraduate students, language teachers, and those working in the field of applied linguistics.
I am Professor of Education and Language Assessment in the
School of Education at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. My main interests lie in the field of language testing and the
philosophy of educational assessment. I have extensive experience of working on test design (paper and computer based) and development projects, including the design and creation of test specifications, item/task design and prototyping, item/task review procedures, pre-testing, test analysis and assembly. I have specific expertise in the design and development of rating instruments for performance assessments, particularly for L2 speaking and communication. I developed the first data-based rating scales between 1987 and 1993, and continue to conduct research in this area. I have worked for a number of major testing companies in a research or consultancy capacity on test development projects, alignment studies, and conducting item writer/rater training. I have published widely in the field, and you can see (and download) some of my work below. Finally, I am interested in teaching language testing. I offer two modules each year, both on campus and by distance learning, supported by innovative electronic materials to enhance the student experience.
I served on the Executive Board of the
International Language Testing Association (ILTA) from 1998 - 2000. In 2005 I was elected Vice President, served as President in 2006, and then as ex-officio Immediate Past President from 2007 - 2008. During 2009 I was a Leverhulme Research Fellow. I am grateful to the Leverhulme Trust which awarded me a substantial grant to pursue research leading to the publication of Practical Language Testing.
I teach language testing and assessment, and research methods, on the MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, and doctoral programmes. I undertake research and consultancy work as a member of the University, sometimes through Consult Leicester. Please contact me for further information.
When I'm not working, reading, walking, swimming or practising guitar, I enjoy listening to the radio, usually while cooking! My favourite programmes include comedy from the BBC, philosophy, history, statistics, and world news. Here is a selection of good stuff. Why not listen while you explore this page?
MoreOrLess: Angelina Jolie?s 87% cancer risk 17 May 2013
As Angelina Jolie announces that an 87% cancer risk has prompted her to have a double mastectomy, Tim Harford assesses the probabilities associated with the disease. Plus, has the UK been hit by a Romanian crime wave? Also in the programme: Education Secretary Michael Gove?s use of PR surveys; and why the UK?s poor growth has not had led to the high levels of unemployment that economists would expect.
IOT: Cosmic Rays 16 May 13
Cosmic rays were discovered in 1912 by the physicist Victor Hess. The Earth is under constant bombardment from this radiation coming from beyond our atmosphere. Cosmic rays can cause damage to satellites and electronic devices on Earth, but the study of cosmic rays has led to major breakthroughs in particle physics. Today physicists are still trying to establish where these highly energetic particles come from. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Carolin Crawford, Gresham Professor of Astronomy and a member of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge; Alan Watson,
Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Leeds and Tim Greenshaw,
Professor of Physics at the University of Liverpool.
Leslie Green on Same Sex Marriage
Is there any reasonable objection to same sex marriage? Les Green discusses this controversial issue from a philosphical perspective with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
The research for this book has kindly been supported by the The Leverhulme Trust, which awarded me a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to fund the research and study leave. I am also grateful to the University of Leicester, which granted me study leave.
'This thorough and comprehensive introduction to the practical and theoretical dimensions of language testing and assessment is set to become a standard reference. With chapters by leading international authorities in the field, it is both intellectually stimulating and practically useful, and is a must-read for those involved in language testing as test developers, test users, policy makers and researchers.'
Tim McNamara, The University of Melbourne, Australia
'I found this book to be the finest collection of cogent articles on language testing to date. The Handbook solidifies language testing as a discipline in its own right - one that has real-world impacts on society at large. Stimulating and clear, the articles will be a valuable resource for decades to come.'
Paula Winke, Michigan State University, USA
Kemp, J. and Fulcher, G. (2013). Performance Decision Trees: Developing domain-specific criteria for teaching and assessment. In J. Wrigglesworth (Ed.) EAP within the higher education garden: Cross-pollination between disciplines, departments and research. (pp. 159 - 170). Reading: Garnet.
Fulcher, G. (2012). "Scoring Performance Tests." In Fulcher, G. and Davidson, F. (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing. London and New York: Routledge, 378 - 392.
Fulcher, G., Davidson, F. & Kemp, J. (2011). "Effective rating scale development for speaking tests: Performance Decision Trees." Language Testing 28, 1, 5 - 29.
Fulcher, G. (2008). "Assessing Language Quality".
In Shohamy, E. (Ed.) Language Testing and Assessment. Vol. 7, Encyclopedia of Language and Education. New York: Springer Publishers, 157 - 176.
Fulcher, G. (2007). "Evaluating quality in second language performance tests." English Language Assessment 1, 3 - 19.
Fulcher, G. (1998). "Testing Speaking". In Clapham, C. (Ed). Language Testing and Assessment. Vol. 7. of the Encyclopaedia of Language and Education, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 75 - 86.
Fulcher, G. (1997). "Assessing Writing". In Fulcher, G. (Ed) Writing in the English Language Classroom. Phoenix ELT/Prentice Hall Macmillan.
Fulcher, G. (1996). "Testing tasks: issues in task design and the group oral." Language Testing 13, 1, 23 - 51.
Fulcher, G. (1996). "Does thick description lead to smart tests? A data-based approach to rating scale construction". Language Testing 13, 2, 208 - 238.
Fulcher, G. (1994). "Some priority areas in oral language testing research." Language Testing Update 15, 39 - 47.
Fulcher, G. (1989). Lexis and reality in oral evaluation. US Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, and the Centre for Applied Linguistics. ERIC document number: ED 298759.
Fulcher, G. (1987). "Tests of Oral Performance: the need for data-based criteria." English Language Teaching Journal 41, 4, 287 - 291.
Test and Task Design
Fulcher, G. (2013). "Test Design and Retrofit." In Chapelle, C. A. (Ed.) The Encyclopeidia of Applied Linguistics (pp. 5809 - 5817). Malden MA: Wiley Blackwell
Davidson, F. and Fulcher, G. (2012). "Developing Test Specifications for Language Assessment." In Coombe, C., Stoynoff, S., O'Sullivan, B., & Davidson,P. (Eds.) The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 59 - 65.
Fulcher, G. (2009). The commercialization of language provision at University. In Alderson, J. C. (Ed.) The Politics of Language Education: Individuals and Institutions. London: Multilingual Matters, 125 - 146.
Fulcher, G. (2007). "Universities undermine their own foundations." Guardian Education, 13 April.
Marquez Reiter, R., Rainey, I. and Fulcher, G. (2005). "A comparative study of conventional indirectness in British English and Peninsular Spanish." Applied Linguistics 26, 1, 1 - 31
Fulcher, G. and Locke, D. (1999). "Distance Education: The future of library and information services requirements." Distance Education 20, 2, 313 - 329.
Fulcher, G. (1999). "Library and Information Services Requirements: A Course Developer's Perspective." In D. A. Lock (ed.)
Library Services for Distance Learners. Surrey: Proceedings of the first Conference on Library Services for Distance Education. 3 - 8.
Fulcher, G. (1997). "Text difficulty and accessibility: Reading formulae and expert judgement." System 25, 4, 497 - 513
Fulcher, G. (1991). "Conditionals Revisited." English Language Teaching Journal 45, 2, 164 - 168.
Fulcher, G. (1989). "Cohesion and coherence in theory and reading research." Journal of Research in Reading 12, 2, 146 - 163.
Fulcher, G. (1988). "The EFL Classroom as a place for research." Education Today 38, 4, 44 - 52.
Fulcher, G. (1988). "Teaching vocabulary for writing." Modern English Teacher 15, 1, 25 - 30.
Fulcher, G. (1987). "Contextual Hyponymy: a communicative approach to teaching lexis in context." Modern English Teacher 14, 3, 14 - 17.
On this website I periodically publish short articles on subjects that are topical or relevant to what is going on in my language testing classes. You can access a selection from the Features Page.
Fulcher, G. (2012). "Assessment literacy for the language classroom." Language Assessment Quarterly 9, 2, 113 - 132.
Fulcher, G. (2010). "Assessment Literacy for the English Language Classroom." Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Newsletter, IATEFL, September, 6 - 8.
Fulcher, G. (2003). "Scaling the peak of writing assignments/dissertations." Guardian Education, November 21.
Fulcher, G. (2002). "Managers face the tests." Invited editorial for the EFL Gazette, April, Issue 267.
Fulcher, G. (2001). "Communicative Language Testing." In Coombe, C., Riley, S. and Troudi, S. (Eds.) Bridging the Gap between Teacher and Learner. TESOL Arabia, 52 - 68.
Fulcher, G. (2000). "The 'communicative' legacy in language testing." System 28, 4, 483 - 497
Fulcher, G. (2000). "Assessment in Independent Language Learning." In the Curriculum and Independence for the Learner Network Handbook (CIEL)
Fulcher, G. (1996). "Writing in the Classroom" Modern English Teacher, 5, 3, 45 - 48.
Fulcher, G. (1991). "The role of assessment by teachers in schools." In Caudery, T. (ed) New Thinking in TEFL. (The Dolphin Series No. 21), Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 138 - 158.
Fulcher, G. (1990). A GCE O Level Workbook. Mavromatis Books, Nicosia, Cyprus.
Book and Software Reviews
Fulcher, G. (2005). "Educational Test Analysis." Language Testing Update,36, 152 - 154.
Fulcher, G. (2000). Review of Chalhoub-Deville, M (Ed.) 1999. Issues in computer-adaptive testing of reading proficiency: selected papers. Studies in Language Testing Vol. 10. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Language Testing 17, 3, 361 - 367.
Fulcher, G. (1999). Review of Barnwell, D. P. 1996: A History of Foreign Language Testing in the United States: from its beginnings to
the present. Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Press. Language Testing 16, 3, 389 - 394.
Fulcher, G. (1997). "QM Web: A World Wide Web Test Delivery Program." Language Testing Update 21, 45 - 49.
Fulcher, G. (1996). "Brief report on the Language Testing Forum 1995". Language Testing Update, 19, 79 - 80.
Fulcher, G. (1996). "Cyberspace revisited". Language Testing Update, 19, 43 - 51.
Fulcher, G. (1995). "The Language Tester's Guide to Cyberspace." Language Testing Update 17, 62 - 65.
Fulcher, G. (1990). "Review of Testing Spoken Language by Nic Underhill, CUP 1987. English Language Teaching Journal 41, 1, 80 - 82.
Oddities from the Past
Fulcher, G. (1993). "Synonymy RIP." I came across this in a dusty drawer recently. Strange how we sometimes do stuff and forget about it. Anyway, I thought it was worth resurrecting ;-)
Fulcher, G. (1983). "Structuralism." Before Applied Linguistics and Language Testing I studied philosophy and theology. Here's an early publication from my previous life!
I enjoy playing guitar, particularly blues and prog rock, with a little jazz thrown in. I'd never be able to make a living out of it, but it's a great way to switch off from the world for a while. I also listen to a wide range of guitar music. My favourites? Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Beck, Garry Moore, Peter Green, David Gilmour, Steve Howe, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Martin Taylor, Derek Trucks. And many more. Why not try these great blues podcasts from around the web?
Roadhouse 428 (11 May, 2013)
Nothing But The Blues #243 (11 May, 2013)
So here's a track of me playing a piece adapted from a favourite prog band of mine, YES. Done on a virtual 32 track recorder, the lead is played on a Les Paul and the backing track on a semi-acoustic Ibanez Artcore. Steve Howe would have used a Gibson ES-175. Drums courtesy of the on-board percussion computer, effects from a Boss Phaser.
Most guitar players learn major key pieces by the Shadows at some stage. Here's my version of Wonderful Land. To get the Shadows sound I use a Boss ME50 with a fair amount of sustain and a 100-500 second delay with lots of feedback. On top of that I use a Dava nickel silver tipped pick. Very punchy.
And this track is based on a theme from one of Wes Montgomery's jazz classics. I'm playing my Les Paul, but I've put it through a semi-acoustic simulator to try to get a tone similar to Montgomery's favourite Gibson L-5CES.
I've always been addicted to Gibson guitars, the Les Paul in particular. I prefer the '59 neck with jumbo frets, and my favourite is an iced tea burst like the one in this image. My other is a desert sunburst with the much thinner '60 neck. But all Gibson guitars are wonderful to play. Below is the latest music news from Gibson.
10 Great Albums that Feature Gibsons on their Covers
From Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive! to Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow, albums throughout rock’s glorious history have often featured Gibson instruments prominently on their covers.
Mentors: 10 Guitar Greats on Their Biggest Influences
In the process of forging his or her own style, every guitarist studies the work of some master – or masters – who came before. Even the great Chuck Berry, who seemingly invented a whole new approach to the instrument, readily cites T-Bone Walker as his prime inspiration. Below we’ve collected thoughts from 10 guitar giants about their biggest influences.
The World of Guitar According to... Zakk Wylde
The Gibson Les Paul is one of the most celebrated guitars of all time, and nobody rocks it like Zakk Wylde. His driving hard-charging stage show, furious soloing and lightning-fast picking earned Wylde legions of fans as Ozzy Osbourne’s lead guitarist, and now, he rocks the stage fulltime as the frontman for Black Label Society. Today, Gibson.com is celebrating Wylde by looking back at a few choice quotes from the guitar master.
Favourite Internet Sites
Like everyone else I have a number of favourite internet sites that aren't about language testing! They cover language, art, history, travel, free e-books for my kindle - and more. You may like to take a look at what I currently like on the net in my favourite links.