Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-56f9d74cfd-wh2kg Total loading time: 0.654 Render date: 2022-06-28T07:50:29.367Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

5 - Support for the Evaluation Inference

Investigating Conditions for Rating Responses on a Test of Academic Oral Language

from Part II - Investigating Score Interpretations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2021

Carol A. Chapelle
Iowa State University
Erik Voss
Teachers College, Columbia University
Get access


This chapter reports on one aspect of the argument-based validation research conducted to evaluate the interpretation and use of scores from the Oral English Certification Test (OECT). The test of English speaking ability for prospective international teaching assistants (ITAs) was updated by introducing a new a web-based rating system, called Rater-Platform (R-PLAT). R-PLAT was intended to improve the efficiency of the rating process, but research was needed to investigate its effects on all aspects of the interpretation/use argument (Kane, 2013). The study investigated the warrant underlying the evaluation inference: the observed performance on the OECT recorded via R-PLAT provides observed scores and observed performance descriptors reflective of targeted speaking ability. The assumption in need of support was that the quality of rating conditions created by R-PLAT was sufficient for gathering accurate scores. Backing was found through analysis of raters’ perceptions towards and their use of R-PLAT collected through questionnaires and interviews. This chapter concludes with the validity argument showing how evidence collected from this study supported the assumptions underlying the evaluation inference. It suggests future research needed to build the complete validity argument for the OECT with R-PLAT, and potential use of a web-based rating system for other speaking tests.

Validity Argument in Language Testing
Case Studies of Validation Research
, pp. 96 - 119
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Bachman, L. F. (2005). Building and supporting a case for test use. Language Assessment Quarterly, 19(4), 453476.Google Scholar
Bachman, L. F., & Palmer, A. (2010). Language assessment in practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Canale, M. (1986). The promise and threat of computerized adaptive assessment of reading comprehension. In Stansfield, C. (Ed.), Technology and language testing (pp. 3045). Washington, DC: TESOL.Google Scholar
Chapelle, C. A. (2012). Conceptions of validity. In Fulcher, G. & Davidson, F. (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of language testing (pp. 2133). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Chapelle, C. A., Cotos, E., & Lee, J. (2015). Validity arguments for diagnostic assessment using automated writing evaluation. Language Testing, Language Testing, 33(2), 385405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chapelle, C. A., & Douglas, D. (2006). Assessing language through computer technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chapelle, C. A., Enright, M. K., & Jamieson, J. (Eds.). (2008). Building a validity argument for the Test of English as a Foreign LanguageTM. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Chung, Y. (2014). A test of productive English grammatical ability in academic writing: Development and validation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.Google Scholar
Cotos, E., & Chung, Y.-R. (2018). Domain description: Validating the interpretation of the TOEFL iBT® speaking scores for international teaching assistant screening and certification purposes. TOEFL Research Report No. RR-85. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. Scholar
Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
Elder, C., Barkhuizen, G., Knoch, U., & Randow, J. V. (2007). Evaluating rater responses to an online training program for L2 writing assessment. Language Testing, 24(1), 3764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. New York: Aldine.Google Scholar
Jun, H. (2014). A validity argument for the use of scores from a web-search-permitted and web-source-based integrated writing test. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.Google Scholar
Kane, M. T. (1992). An argument-based approach to validity. Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 527535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kane, M. T. (2001). Current concerns in validity theory. Journal of Educational Measurement, 38(4), 319342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kane, M. T. (2004). Certification testing as an illustration of argument-based validation. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 2(3), 135170.Google Scholar
Kane, M. T. (2006). Validation. In Brennan, R. L. (Ed.), Educational measurement (4th ed., pp. 1764). Westport, CT: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
Kane, M. T. (2013). Validating the interpretations and uses of test scores. Journal of Educational Measurement, 50(1), 173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knoch, U., & Chapelle, C. A. (2018). Validation of rating processes within an argument-based framework. Language Testing, 35(4), 477499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McNamara, T. F. (1996). Measuring second language performance. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Ockey, G. J. (2009). The effects of a test taker’s group members’ personalities on the test taker’s second language group oral discussion test scores. Language Testing, 26(2), 161186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yang, H. (2016). Integration of a web-based rating system with an oral proficiency interview test: Argument-based approach to validation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats