Introducing Charles Alderson, plenary speaker

TESOL Greece Blog

Diagnosing strengths and weaknesses in reading in a foreign language

The ability to read in a second or foreign language (SFL) is increasingly important in the modern world and therefore diagnostic language testing is potentially an important area of language test development and research. However, relatively little attention has been paid in language testing to the need to diagnose strengths and weaknesses in these important skills. Proficiency tests dominate the testing world, and although attempts have been made to derive useful diagnostic information from proficiency tests, tests like TOEFL or IELTS are not designed to provide detailed, usable information for teaching.

This presentation is in two parts: first I explore how diagnosis is carried out in other fields in order to learn lessons from other professions and to derive principles and implications for diagnosis in second and foreign language learning. The second part reports on the design and results of a four-year (2010-2013) research project into the diagnosis of SFL…

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