Book Chapter

Validity and validation in language testing

A Davies, C Elder

Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning | Lawrence Erlbaum Associates | Published : 2005


The concept of validity, which concerns the truth-value of a test and its scores, is both powerful and precarious: powerful because it dominates all aspects of language testing; and precarious because it responds uneasily to four challenges. These are first, the challenge of the appeal to logic and to syllogistic reasoning; second, the challenge of the claims of reliability; third, the challenge of the local and the universal; and fourth, the challenge of the unitary and the divisible. In this chapter we will first discuss the concept of validity, making use of these three causes of concern; we will then takeup the issueofvalidationandexaminewith exemplificationhowfardifferent approaches to val..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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