Language Assessment Literacy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region

Peter Davidson, Christine Coombe

Abstract


Language assessment literacy (LAL) has become a critical topic in English language teaching since the late 1990s. Unfortunately, this is mainly due to the fact that so many English language teachers are not assessment literate. In other words, many English language teachers lack the knowledge and skills to write effective language tests, evaluate the effectiveness of their tests, and use their test results in meaningful ways. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the status of LAL in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. After defining what LAL is, we will discuss why it is important that teachers are assessment literate, and we will examine some of the barriers to teachers becoming assessment literate. We will then propose a course of action to improve LAL amongst teachers, such as devising an Assessment Competency Framework, and helping teachers to become more assessment literate. We will then move on to look at the state of LAL in the MENA region, and finally we will report on a number of initiatives that the Testing, Assessment and Evaluation Special Interest Group (TAE SIG) of TESOL Arabia has implemented to improve LAL amongst English language teachers in the region.

Keywords


language; assessment

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