Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-56f9d74cfd-mtzzk Total loading time: 1.044 Render date: 2022-06-26T05:35:28.625Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

4 - Issues in Arabic Language Testing and Assessment

from Part I - Arabic Applied Linguistics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2021

Karin Ryding
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Washington DC
David Wilmsen
Affiliation:
American University of Beirut
Get access

Summary

Language tests are a widely used form of educational evaluation that provide information about various aspects of test takers’ language abilities, and often represent a crucial component of the ongoing assessment process that ideally characterizes the healthy functioning of a language curriculum. In the context of teaching Arabic as a foreign language (TAFL), learners, instructors, and other language professionals are likely familiar with formats such as the in-class multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank exam, as with more comprehensive end-of-term examinations. Many are likewise familiar with performance-based testing formats, such as the oral proficiency interview (OPI), a proprietary instrument of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). In the context of second language acquisition (SLA) studies, Arabic language tests often take the form of diagnostic instruments such as the cloze or C-test, or of discrete measures of structural aspects of linguistic production elicited via an experimental task.

Type
Chapter
Information
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.)

References

Abdalla, M. and Al-Batal, M. (2011). College-level teachers of Arabic in the United States: A survey of their professional and institutional profiles and attitudes. Al-ʿArabiyya, 44/45, 128.Google Scholar
Abu-Rabia, S. and Siegel, L. S. (2003). Reading skills in three orthographies: The case of trilingual Arabic–Hebrew–English-speaking Arab children. Reading and Writing, 16(7), 611–34.Google Scholar
ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). (2012). Arabic Consensus Project: Speaking. Retrieved November 27, 2017, from www.actfl.org/resources/actfl-proficiency-guidelines-2012/arabic/arabic-consensus-project/speaking; last accessed 20 November 2020.Google Scholar
Al-Ani, S. H. (1972). Features of interference in the teaching of Arabic composition. An-Nashra, 5/6, 313.Google Scholar
Al-Jabr, A. F. (2006). Effect of syntactic complexity on translating from/into English/Arabic. Babel, 52(3), 203–21.Google Scholar
Bachman, L. F. (1990). Fundamental Considerations in Language Testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Bachman, L. F. and Palmer, A. S. (1996). Language Testing in Practice: Designing and Developing Useful Language Tests, vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Bachman, L. and Palmer, A. (2010). Language Assessment in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Barhoum, K. (1989). Proficiency testing: Rating vs. profiling. Al-ʿArabiyya, 22(1/2), 6380.Google Scholar
Beinborn, L., Zesch, T., and Gurevych, I. (2014). Predicting the difficulty of language proficiency tests. Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 2, 517–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Belnap, R. K. and Abuamsha, K. (2015). Taking on the ‘Ceiling Effect’ in Arabic. In Brown, T. and Bown, J., eds., To Advanced Proficiency and Beyond: Theory and Methods for Developing Superior Second Language Ability. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 105–16.Google Scholar
Bowden, H. W. (2016). Assessing second-language oral proficiency for research: The Spanish elirefd imitation task. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 38(4), 647–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brosh, H. (2015). Arabic spelling: Errors, perceptions, and strategies. Foreign Language Annals, 48(4), 584603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brown, A. (2003). Interviewer variation and the co-construction of speaking proficiency. Language Testing, 20(1), 125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bualuan, G. and Martin, A. (2015). Developing learning outcomes for first-year Arabic at the University of Notre Dame. In Norris, J. M. and Davis, J. McE., eds., Student Learning Outcomes Assessment in College Foreign Language Programs. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i, National Foreign Language Resource Center, 123–41.Google Scholar
Canale, M. and Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chalhoub-Deville, M. and Deville, C. (1999). Computer-adaptive testing in second language contexts. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 19, 273–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cheng, J., Bernstein, J., Pado, U., and Suzuki, M. (2009). Automatic assessment of spoken modern standard Arabic. In Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications - EdAppsNLP ’09, 19. https://doi.org/10.3115/1609843.1609844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, M. (2012). STAMP 4S (STAndards-Based Measurement of Proficiency – 4 Skills): Arabic Technical Report. Avant Assessment. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b5110cda9e0283700e2a0fa/t/5e8617327bff26175a542aec/1585846076487/arabic-avant-stamp-technical-document.pdf; last accessed 20 November 2020.Google Scholar
de Graaf, A., Richters, J., and de Ruiter, J. J. (2012). Assessing Arabic in the secondary Dutch school system. In Grande, F., de Ruiter, J. J., and Spotti, M., eds., Mother Tongue and Intercultural Valorization: Europe and Its Migrant Youth. Milan: Angeli, 4960.Google Scholar
Eisele, J. (2006). Developing frames of reference for assessment and curricular design in a diglossic L2: From skills to tasks (and back again). In Wahba, K. M., Taha, Z. A., and England, L., eds., Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals in the 21st Century. London: Routledge, 197220.Google Scholar
Elder, C. (2009). Reconciling accountability and development needs in heritage language education: A communication challenge for the evaluation consultant. Language Teaching Research, 13(1), 1533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fareh, S. I. (1988). Paragraph Structure in Arabic and English Expository Discourse. PhD dissertation, University of Kansas.Google Scholar
Farghaly, A. and Shaalan, K. (2009). Arabic natural language processing: Challenges and solutions. ACM Transactions on Asian Language Information Processing (TALIP), 8(4), 119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flege, J. E., Mackay, I. R. A., and Piske, T. (2002). Assessing bilingual dominance. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23(04), 567–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freed, B. F. (ed.) (1995). Second Language Acquisition in a Study Abroad Context. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fulcher, G. (1996). Invalidating validity claims for the ACTFL oral rating scale. System, 24(2), 163–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gaillard, S. (2014). The Elirefd Imitation Task as a Method for French Proficiency Assessment in Institutional and Research Settings. PhD dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.Google Scholar
Gaillard, S. and Tremblay, A. (2016). Linguistic proficiency assessment in second language acquisition research: The elirefd imitation task. Language Learning, 66(2), 419–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Georgetown University. (1921). A Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Georgetown University. Washington, DC: University Press. books.google.com/books?id=o6BGAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false; last accessed 14 November 2020.Google Scholar
Golonka, E., Bowles, A., Silbert, N., Kramasz, D., Blake, C., and Buckwalter, T. (2015). The role of context and cognitive effort in vocabulary learning: A study of intermediate‐level learners of Arabic. The Modern Language Journal, 99(1), 1939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hallajow, N. (2016). The interplay of technology and context in Syrian university students’ electronic literacy practices. Computers in Human Behavior, 55, 178–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hamed, O. and Zesch, T. (2017). The role of diacritics in designing lexical recognition tests for Arabic. Procedia Computer Science, 117, 119–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hanna, S. A. (1964). Quantitative measurement of errors in reading Arabic. The Modern Language Journal, 48(6), 349–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hofman, J. E. and Habib-Allah, M. (1982). The cloze technique in Arabic: Words or semantic units? Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 11(4), 275–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Høigilt, J. and Mejdell, G. (eds.) (2017). The Politics of Written Language in the Arab World: Writing Change, vol. 90. Leiden: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, H.-T. D. and Hung, S.-T. A. (2010). Implementing electronic speaking portfolios: Perceptions of EFL students. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 84–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hulstijn, J. H. (2011). Language proficiency in native and nonnative speakers: An agenda for research and suggestions for second-language assessment. Language Assessment Quarterly, 8(3), 229–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hung, S. T. (2011). Pedagogical applications of Vlogs: An investigation into ESP learners’ perceptions. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(5), 736–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katbi, H. K. (2000). Arabic Language Proficiency and the Academic Achievement of Foreign University Students at the University of Jordan, PhD dissertation, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.Google Scholar
Khaldieh, S. (1996). Word recognition of Arabic as a Foreign language by American learners: The role of phonology and script. Al-ʿArabiyya, 29, 129–52.Google Scholar
Khan, A. F. A., Mourad, O., Dahan, H. B. A. M., Abushariah, M. A. M., and Bin Mannan, A. M. K. (2013). Automatic Arabic pronunciation scoring for computer aided language learning. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Communications, Signal Processing, and their Applications (ICCSPA), Sharjah, UAE, 168–71. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCSPA.2013.6487246; last accessed 20 November 2020.Google Scholar
Khoshaba, M. P. (2004). The integrative test of Arabic (IAT). Dialogue on Language Instruction, 16(1), 5365.Google Scholar
Khoury, G. (2008). Vocabulary Acquisition in Arabic as a Foreign Language: The Root and Pattern Strategy. PhD dissertation, Boston University, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
Kuiken, F., Vedder, I., and Gilabert, R. (2010). Communicative adequacy and linguistic complexity in L2 writing. In Bartning, I., Martin, M., and Vedder, I. (eds.), Communicative Proficiency and Linguistic Development. European Second Language Association, 81100.Google Scholar
Lei, Y. and Hansen, J. H. (2011). Dialect classification via text-independent training and testing for Arabic, Spanish, and Chinese. IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, 19(1), 8596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Linn, R. L., Baker, E. L., and Dunbar, S. B. (1991). Complex, performance-based assessment: Expectations and validation criteria. Educational Researcher, 20(8), 1521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Liskin-Gasparro, J. (1984). The ACTFL proficiency guidelines: A historical perspective. In Higgs, T., ed., Teaching for Proficiency, the Organizing Principle. Lincolnwood, IL, National Textbook Co, 1142.Google Scholar
Liskin‐Gasparro, J. E. (2003). The ACTFL proficiency guidelines and the oral proficiency interview: A brief history and analysis of their survival. Foreign Language Annals, 36(4), 483–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lowe, P. and Stansfield, C. W. (eds.) (1988). Second Language Proficiency Assessment: Current Issues. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Regents.Google Scholar
MacIntyre, P. D., Noels, K. A., and Clément, R. (1997). Biases in self‐ratings of second language proficiency: The role of language anxiety. Language Learning, 47(2), 265–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mahfoudhi, A., Everatt, J., and Elbeheri, G. (2011). Introduction to the special issue on literacy in Arabic. Reading and Writing, 24(9), 1011–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Malone, M. E. and Montee, M. J. (2010). Oral proficiency assessment: Current approaches and applications for post-secondary foreign language programs. Language and Linguistics Compass, 4(10), 972–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mansouri, F. (1995). The acquisition of subject-verb agreement in Arabic as a second language. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 18(2), 6584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Messick, S. (1989). Validity. In Linn, R. L., ed., Educational Measurement, 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan, 13104.Google Scholar
Necibi, K. and Bahi, H. (2015). A statistical-based decision for Arabic pronunciation assessment. International Journal of Speech Technology, 18(1), 3744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Necibi, K., Frihia, H., and Bahi, H. (2015). On the use of decision trees for Arabic pronunciation assessment. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Information Processing, Security and Advanced Communication – IPAC ’15. Batna, Algeria: ACM Press, 16. doi.org/10.1145/2816839.2816866.Google Scholar
Nielsen, H. L. (2011). Second language teaching. In Edzard, Lutz and Jong, Rudolf de, eds., Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Brill Online (2017): http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0297; last accessed 14 November 2020.Google Scholar
Noor, H. H. (2007). Competency in first language: Does it affect the quality of second language writing? Dirasat: Human and Social Sciences, 34(2), 412–24.Google Scholar
Norrbom, B. and Al-Shamrani, A. (2017). The development and validation of an Arabic language test in Saudi Arabia. In Gebril, A., ed., Applied Linguistics in the Middle East and North Africa: Current Practices and Future Directions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 203–26.Google Scholar
Norris, J. M. (1998). Designing Second Language Performance Assessments (No. 18). (National Foreign Language Resource Center technical reports). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar
Norris, J. M. (2000). Purposeful language assessment. English Teaching Forum, 38(1), 1823.Google Scholar
Norris, J. (2006). Development and evaluation of a curriculum-based German C-test for placement purposes. In Grotjahn, R., ed., Der C-test: theorie, empirrie, anwendungen/the C-test: theory, empirical research, applications. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 4583.Google Scholar
Norris, J. M. (ed.) (2018). Developing C-Tests for Estimating Proficiency in Foreign Language Research. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Palfreyman, D. and Al Khalil, M. (2003). ‘A Funky Language for Teenzz to Use:’ Representing Gulf Arabic in instant messaging. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2003.tb00355.x.Google Scholar
Panović, I. (2018). ‘You don’t have enough letters to make this noise’: Arabic speakers’ creative engagements with the Roman script. Language Sciences, 65, 7081. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2017.03.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parry, T. S. and Child, J. R. (1990). Preliminary investigation of the relationship between VORD, MLAT, and language proficiency. In Parry, T. S. and Stansfield, C. W., eds., Language Aptitude Reconsidered. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics, 3066.Google Scholar
Pérez-Vidal, C. (ed.) (2014). Language Acquisition in Study Abroad and Formal Instruction Contexts. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raish, M. (2015). The acquisition of an Egyptian phonological variant by US students in Cairo. Foreign Language Annals, 48(2), 267–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raish, M. (2017). The Measurement of the Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency of Written Arabic. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Raish, M. (2018). Design and development of an Arabic C-test. In Norris, J. M., ed., Developing C-Tests for Estimating Proficiency in Foreign Language Research. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
Rammuny, R. M. (1975). Arabic Proficiency Test. Al-ʿArabiyya, 8(1/2), 93–7.Google Scholar
Rammuny, R. M. (1976). Statistical study of errors made by American students in written Arabic. Al-ʿArabiyya, 9(1/2), 7594.Google Scholar
Rammuny, R. M. (1983). Arabic Proficiency Test: Implementation and implications. Al-ʿArabiyya, 16(1/2), 8596.Google Scholar
Rammuny, R. M. (1999). Arabic language testing: The state of the art. Al-ʿArabiyya, 32, 157–89.Google Scholar
Richards, J. C. and Rodgers, T. S. (2014). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Ricks, R. (2015). Development of Frequency-Based Assessments of Vocabulary Breadth and Depth for L2 Arabic. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Ryding, K. (2017). Teaching Arabic in the United States II. In Wahba, K. M., Taha, Z. A., and England, L., eds., Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals in the 21st Century, vol. II. New York: Routledge, 1119.Google Scholar
Salaberry, R. (2000). Revising the revised format of the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview. Language Testing, 17(3), 289310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sesi, G. H. (1982). Validity of Cloze Procedure as an Index of Readability of Arabic Language Reading Materials. Doctoral dissertation, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.Google Scholar
Shakir, A. and Obeidat, H. (1991). Maturity in AFL student-written texts: A case study. Al-ʿArabiyya, 24, 6581.Google Scholar
Shameem, N. (1998). Validating self-reported language proficiency by testing performance in an immigrant community: The Wellington Indo-Fijians. Language Teaching, 15(1), 86108.Google Scholar
Shiri, S. (2015). Intercultural communicative competence development during and after language study abroad: Insights from Arabic. Foreign Language Annals, 48(4), 541–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shohamy, E., Donitsa-Schmidt, S., and Ferman, I. (1996). Test impact revisited: Washback effect over time. Language Testing, 13(3), 298317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Skehan, P. (1998). A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Skehan, P. (2009). Modelling second language performance: Integrating complexity, accuracy, fluency, and lexis. Applied Linguistics 30(4), 510–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Soliman, R. (2018). The implementation of the Common European Framework of Reference for the teaching and learning of Arabic as a second language in higher education. In Wahba, K. M., England, L., and Taha, Z. A., eds., Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals in the 21st Century, vol. II. London: Routledge, 118–38.Google Scholar
Sparks, R. L., Ganschow, L., Patton, J., Artzer, M., Siebenhar, D., and Plageman, M. (1997). Prediction of foreign language proficiency. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(3), 549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spolsky, B. (1971). Reduced redundancy as a language testing tool. In Perren, G. E. and Trim, J. L. M., eds., Applications of Linguistics: Selected papers of the Second International Congress of Applied Linguistics, Cambridge 1969. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 383–90.Google Scholar
Stansfield, C. W., Kenyon, D. M., Paiva, R., Doyle, F., Ulsh, I., and Cowles, M. A. (1990). The development and validation of the Portuguese speaking test. Hispania, 73(3), 641–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Toiemah, R. A. (1978). The Use of Cloze to Measure the Proficiency of Students of Arabic as a Second Language in Some Universities in the United States. Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
Tracy-Ventura, N., McManus, K., Norris, J. M., and Ortega, L. (2014). ‘Repeat as much as you can’: Elirefd imitation as a measure of oral proficiency in L2 French. In Leclercq, P., Edmonds, A., and Hilton, H., eds., Measuring L2 Proficiency: Perspectives from SLA. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters, 4366.Google Scholar
Trentman, E. (2017). Oral fluency, sociolinguistic competence, and language contact: Arabic learners studying abroad in Egypt. System, 69, 5464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valdés, G. (2001). Heritage language students: Profiles and possibilities. In Peyton, J. K., Ranard, D. A., and McGinnis, S., eds., Heritage Languages in America: Preserving a National Resource. Washington, DC: Delta Systems, 3777.Google Scholar
Vande Berg, M., Connor-Linton, J., and Paige, R. M. (2009). The Georgetown consortium project: Interventions for student learning abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 18, 175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wahba, K. M. (2006). Arabic language use and the educated language user. In Wahba, K. M., Taha, Z. A., and England, L., eds., Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals in the 21st Century Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 139–57.Google Scholar
Winke, P. M. and Aquil, R. (2006). Issues in developing standardized tests of Arabic language proficiency. In Wahba, K. M., Taha, Z. A., and England, L., eds., Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals in the 21st Century. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 221–35.Google Scholar
Winke, P. M. and Fei, F. (2008). Computer-assisted language assessment. In Van Deusen-Scholl, N. and Hornberger, N. H., eds., Encyclopedia of Language and Education, vol. IV. New York: Springer, 353–64.Google Scholar
Wu, S. L. and Ortega, L. (2013). Measuring global oral proficiency in SLA research: A new elirefd imitation test of L2 Chinese. Foreign Language Annals, 46(4), 680704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yan, X., Maeda, Y., Lv, J., and Ginther, A. (2016). Elirefd imitation as a measure of second language proficiency: A narrative review and meta-analysis. Language Testing, 33(4), 497528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Young, D. J. (1986). The relationship between anxiety and foreign language oral proficiency ratings. Foreign Language Annals, 19(5), 439–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yusoff, N. M. R. N., Sulong, S., and Zakaria, W. N. W. (2016). The level of Cloze reading comprehension and its relationship with Arabic language achievement. Islāmiyyāt, 38(1), 71–5.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org 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 @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ 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
×