Chapter 11Task-Based Assessment and Program Evaluation

11.1.  Task-Based, Criterion-Referenced Performance Tests

Assessment, whether of language or other abilities, can take many forms and fulfill a variety of goals, so it is always important to specify a test's intended use before designing or evaluating a new one (Norris 2000). Placement tests, administered before a program begins, are designed to divide large numbers of students into groups of manageable size, preferably made up of those of similar L2 ability, language aptitude, and so on, for the purpose of instruction. They may be criterion-referenced or (because this is often more efficient with large numbers of students entering a program) norm-referenced, and linguistically and/or task focused. Diagnostic tests in traditional focus-on-forms L2 programs, typically employed during a course, will be linguistically focused, and usually discrete-point. In a task-based program, on the other ...

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