Large-scale assessment of language proficiency: Theoretical and pedagogical reflections on the use of multiple-choice tests

  • Irina Argüelles Álvarez
Keywords: language teaching and testing, large-scale testing, grammar tests, multiple choice tasks

Abstract

The new requirement placed on students in tertiary settings in Spain to demonstrate a B1 or a B2 proficiency level of English, in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL), has led most Spanish universities to develop a program of certification or accreditation of the required level. The first part of this paper aims to provide a rationale for the type of test that has been developed at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid for the accreditation of a B2 level, a multiple choice version, and to describe how it was constructed and validated. Then, in the second part of the paper, the results from its application to 924 students enrolled in different degree courses at a variety of schools and faculties at the university are analyzed based on a final test version item analysis. To conclude, some theoretical as well as practical conclusions about testing grammar that affect the teaching and learning process are drawn.

Author Biography

Irina Argüelles Álvarez
Irina Argüelles Álvarez has a Ph.D in English Philology and teaches English for Professional and Academic Communication at the Department of Linguistics Applied to Science and Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Escuela Universitaria de Ingeniería Técnica de Telecomunicación, since 2003. She develops her research in the areas of EFL teaching and learning, language learning assessment and testing, ICT applied to material development and discourse analysis. In particular, her current research interests revolve around Content and Language Integrated Language and she has directed an innovation project on this topic funded by the UPM for the last three academic years. She has also been a member of the DISCYT research group at the UPM from 2011.
How to Cite
Argüelles Álvarez, I. (1). Large-scale assessment of language proficiency: Theoretical and pedagogical reflections on the use of multiple-choice tests. International Journal of English Studies, 13(2), 21-38. https://doi.org/10.6018/ijes.13.2.185861