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Routledge Enyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning, 2nd Edition by Adelheid Hu, Michael Byram

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V

Validity

Language test validity can be defined as the extent to which the test is testing what it claims to test. This is very important because it is necessary to be able to generalise from a student’s test performance to describe what a student can and cannot do in the target language. For example, if a group of students were to take an achievement test, it should be possible to explain their test results in terms of the aspects of the syllabus that they have mastered. This can only be done if it is possible to be confident that the test is actually measuring the language abilities or features being described.

The term ‘validity’ is also traditionally linked to test purpose, for tests are not intrinsically valid. Rather, validity is a property ...

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