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Collaboration in Language Testing and Assessment

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Edited By 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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Laura Sadlier†, Beppie van den Bogaerde, Joni Oyserman: Preliminary Collaborative Steps in Establishing CEFR Sign Language Levels

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185 Preliminary Collaborative Steps in Establishing CEFR Sign Language Levels Laura Sadlier†1 Trinity College Dublin Beppie van den Bogaerde2 Utrecht University of Applied Sciences Joni Oyserman3 University of Amsterdam This chapter explores the role of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in the context of teaching, learning, and more specifically, assessing signed languages. An exploration of various approaches used in selected universities across Europe provides perspectives on how the CEFR lends itself to adaptation. CEFR will be an important tool in shaping the future quality and comparability of higher education in the field of Deaf Studies and Interpreter Training both within each university and from an international perspective. Specific issues under discussion here are (i) the CEFR in relation to signed languages, (ii) the assessment of signed language skills as guided by the CEFR and (iii) future collaboration from an international perspective. Key words: Common European Framework of Reference, signed languages, assessment, collaboration, stakeholder involvement. 1. Introduction The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) provides a basis from which languages can be learned, taught and assessed (Council of Europe, 2001). However, placing this in the context of teaching and assessing signed languages (SL’s) creates a need to adapt traditional spoken language skills or competencies. Such adaptation is necessary as SL’s are visuo-spatial in nature and auditory-based competencies are therefore irrelevant. This chapter will explore issues that arise when teaching and testing SL’s in relation to the CEFR and the additional benefits and challenges that...

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