Sample Education Paper on Language Assessment Critique

  1. Language Assessment Critique (2-4 team members)

This assignment supports TESOL Standard 1: Knowledge about language

Purpose:  To demonstrate your understanding of assessment terminology, standardized (norm-referenced or criterion-referenced) language assessment and issues related to the language proficiency of English language or foreign language learning students using either.


Process:  You will critique a state- or locally-mandated or recommended assessment. If possible use assessments currently required by your own or another local school system. The focus should be language assessment but there may be other components of the assessment included. You may use assessments of reading, oral, or written language. You are encouraged to look at tests outside of NYS.


Time Frame:  Conduct all projects for this course during the semester in which you take the course (not from previous semesters or years). This will ensure your understanding of principles presented in this course.





Locate a state- or locally-mandated language proficiency assessment designed for one or more language learners (for example, NYS-DOE required tests for determining if students qualify for language services). If the assessment process has several components, provide an overview of all components and then focus an in-depth critique of at least one of the major areas for all levels. Assessments must be standardized and criterion-referenced or norm-referenced. You will analyze the usefulness of the results for making program placement decisions, as well as make recommendations for improving the assessment measure itself, possibly by using additional measures of language proficiency. Analyze the validity and reliability of the assessment based on research and the assigned class readings for this course. Make recommendations for addressing the limitations of each assessment, including eliminating threats to validity and reliability. Don’t just rely on what the developer or publisher has to say. Of course the developer believes the test is “great”; however this is a critical analysis. Be sure to comment on “What needs to be added, removed, or improved to make the measure more valid and reliable?” “What might help it address the needs of ELL or foreign language learners?”


Preparing the Written Report

-Don’t forget the cover page

-Use the headings as indicated to organize in your report.


Organize your report to include the following information:


  1. Introduction. Name the assessment measures used and clearly identify the number and categories of components for each measure, including number of items for each component (e.g., oral language: interview, picture-cued description).


  1. Target Population. With whom are the assessment measures used? (e.g., ESL, foreign language, 3rd grade ESOL, etc.)?


  1. Critical Analysis. Address these categories:
  2. Validity – assessment of all 4 language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing)
  3. Reliability – accuracy of scoring
  • Inter-rater reliability (score agreement)
  • Internal consistency reliability
  • reliability coefficient by grade level (kindergarten)
  1. Psychological and/ or Emotional Effects (affects of formal testing situations, multiple-choice test formats, response formats, timing effects)
  2. Format – multiple-choice, performance-based, or other
  3. Scaffolding – What type of scaffolding is presented? Is it enough?
  4. Practicality – time/days needed to administer; cost
  5. Scoring Procedures – reliable, teacher training provided, or objective
  6. Usefulness for making placement decisions
  7. Recommendations for addressing limitations of the assessment process and tool


  1. Conclusion. Include a conclusion section that synthesizes the points made in your paper (issues identified and addressed). You must include other articles that critique the assessment. Close by commenting on what you have learned by doing this project.


  1. References Section (not less than 8 different for within-text citations). Provide in-text citations and references to the readings for the course throughout your project (in each section of your report) to support your analysis. References to readings assigned for other courses are appropriate however, should be limited – this course aims to determine if you are connecting what you have read IN THIS COURSE. However, do Challenge yourself by citing additional outside readings that specifically address assessment for language learners. See of the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Manual (2020) (7th ed.) when preparing all written work for this course.


  1. Appendices- May vary and will be discussed.