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Collaboration in Language Testing and Assessment

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Dina Tsagari and Ildikó Csépes

The Guidelines for Good Practice of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) stress the importance of collaboration between all parties involved in the process of developing instruments, activities and programmes for testing and assessment. Collaboration is considered to be as important as validity and reliability, providing a crucial prerequisite for responsibility and respect for students. The papers, covering a range of topics that consider both realities and prospects of collaboration, were originally presented at EALTA conferences from 2008 to 2010.

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Slobodanka Dimova: Matura’s Rocky Road to Success: Coping with Test Validity Issues

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143 Matura’s Rocky Road to Success: Coping with Test Validity Issues Slobodanka Dimova1 East Carolina University As part of the educational reform, the Macedonian Ministry of Education and Science have implemented Matura, a national secondary school matriculation examination. However, the implementation of Matura has provoked student protests and teacher resistance. Students were worried about the consequences of failing the exam, and teachers feared losing their jobs. This chapter focuses on the impact of the EFL exam, which is part of Matura. In particular, it investigates the exam’s intended and emerging influence on instruction, and stakeholders’ exam perceptions. Data were gathered through teacher and student surveys. Results suggest that ineffective collaboration between the stakeholders at every stage of the testing process has resulted in implementation problems. Key words: national examination, EFL exams, test impact, education innovation 1. Introduction According to research trends in language testing and assessment, tests and exams gain improved validity if dynamic collaboration is established among all stakeholders in the testing process (e.g., testing institutions, administrators, teachers, students, parents). Through effective collaboration, teachers, students, and parents familiarize themselves with the projected goals and uses of the test, and test designers become cognizant of the problems teachers and students encounter during instruction and test preparation. Such collaboration also helps testers understand different stakeholders’ attitudes and opinions, as well as plan the following stages of the test implementation and the educational reform. Collaboration with stakeholders may become critical when new tests are introduced with the purpose of bringing about curriculum...

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