Reading assessment needs to be treated with great care, attention, and respect. Reading assessments are used for many purposes, but it all appropriate uses begin from understanding of the reading construct, awareness of the development of reading abilities and effort to reflect the construct assessment tasks.

            Reading assessment can be intimidating and sometimes overwhelming for many teachers and administrators thus a first goal of this chapter is to present a straightforward framework that categorizes the many uses and purposes in assessment.

A.   Goals for Reading Assessment

Reading assessment are meant to provide feedback on the skills, processes, and knowledge resources that represent reading abilities. There is five of reading assessment, such as:

  1. Reading proficiency assessment (Standardized testing)
  2. Assessment of Classroom learning
  3. Assessment for learning (supporting student learning is the purpose)
  4. Assessment curricular effectiveness
  5. Assessment for research purposes

B.   Reading Proficiency Assessment

Assessment of reading proficiency is important as a way to understand students’ overall reading abilities and to determine if students are appropriately prepared for further learning and educational advancement. This type of assessment is referred to as standardized testing,

C.   Assessment of Classroom Learning

Assessment of reading improvement in classroom settings involves the measurement of skills and knowledge gained over a period time and is commonly referred to summative or achievement testing. It is used to measure students’ progress from year to year (as in final exam), but this type of assessment does not capture ongoing students gains made in reading skills in classroom.

 D.   Assessment for Learning

Assessment for learning has a purpose that it used for supporting and promoting students’ learning. In this case, the improvement of reading abilities performance evaluation or a record of outcomes is not the goal instead, the goal is to provide immediate feedback on task and to teach students to get more effective learning.

E.   Assessment of Curricular Effectiveness

Assessment of curricular effectiveness is not specific to reading but is relevant for the development and/or review of reading curricula. Assessment outcomes that apply to curricular effectiveness include standardized testing, cumulative record over years that indicate gains or losses in students’ outcomes, interviews the teachers, students, school administrators on summative test performance.

 F.    Assessment for Research Purposes

Assessment for research purposes is a topic that is not generally addressed in assessment but it is very important for research results as well as for their implication in reading instruction. Research studies use standardized assessment instruments to measure students’ level or students instructional outcomes.

 G.   L2 Reading Assessment Practices and Resources

The description of L2 reading assessment practices that it can be linked with standardized testing assessment of learning primarily with classroom based measures. it has been an effort to reflect the construct of reading comprehension abilities in one form or another.

 H.   Standardized L2 Reading Assessment

  1. Cloze
  2. Gap filling formats (rational cloze formats)
  3. C-tests (retain initial letters of words removed)
  4. Cloze elide (remove extra word)
  5. Text Segment ordering
  6. Text gap
  7. Choosing from a “heading bank” for identified paragraphs
  8. Multiple choice
  9. Sentence completion

10. Matching (and multiple matching) techniques

11. Classification into groups

12. Dichotomous items (Y/N or T/F)

13. Editing

14. Short answer

15. Free recall

16. Summary (1 sentence, 2 sentences, 5-6 sentences)

17. Information transfer (graphs, tables, flow charts, outlines, maps)

18. Project performance

19. Skimming

20. Scanning

Many of these task formats are well known and widely used in standardized test.

I.      Classroom based Assessment Practices

There are several assessment options that are available for teachers:

  1. Observations
  2. Self reporting measures
  3. Progress charts
  4. Performance inventories
  5. Participation and engagement records
  6. Portfolio

K.   Placement and Diagnostic Assessment Practices

The key point of diagnostic assessment practices is that they are usually more local driven. The class, program, institute have specific needs for placement and for the diagnosis of students’ strengths and weaknesses. E.g. GORT, TOWRE, TOEFL, or IELTS

L.    Issues and Innovations in L2 Reading Assessment

Identify some possible themes for reading L2 that might be better capture skills and abilities used in reading for various purposes. Issue is what might count as tasks that capture new but important aspects of reading comprehension.


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