Language Testing

Subject 175-513 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week. For students taking this subject online: 2 hours of online work related to course materials (activities, self-assessment, bulletin board discussion)
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week , 7.5 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Tim Mcnamara


Prof Tim McNamara
Subject Overview: Introduction to the theory and practice of language testing in a range of second language contexts. Topics covered include the social and political functions of tests; test validity; test reliability; the purpose of language tests (achievement, proficiency, placement, diagnostic, aptitude); norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests; reporting of results, including rating scales, profiles and outcome statements; testing of language for specific purposes; design, construction and validation of language tests; classroom language assessment and alternative assessment practices. Students will be encouraged to develop solutions to language assessment problems relevant to their own work settings.
  • have an understanding of the main debates and issues in language testing;
  • be able to conduct a small scale test development or research in the field of language assessment.
Assessment: Two written assignments: 2000 words, 40% (due towards the middle of the semester); and 3000 words, 60% (due after the end of the semester).
Prescribed Texts: A reader will be available.
  • Language Testing. (McNamara, T. ) Oxford University Press. 2000
Recommended Texts:

Bachman, LG and A.S Palmer (1996) Language Testing in Practice. Oxford University Press

Fulcher, G and F Davidson (2007). Language Testing and Assessment: An Advanced Resource Book. Routledge

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop their research skills;
  • develop their critical thinking and analytic skills;
  • be able to communicate ideas through writing.
Notes: Subject offered as both online and on-campus. Some restrictions on student visa holders apply. Please contact the subject coordinator for more information.
Related Course(s): M.A.Applied Linguistics (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of Applied Linguistics (English Language)
Master of Applied Linguistics (Language Test&Language Program Evaluation
Master of Applied Linguistics (Technology in Language Learning)
Master of Applied Linguistics(TESOL)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Language Testing and Language Program Evaluation

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