Language Assessment Practices and Beliefs: Implications for Language Assessment Literacy

Main Article Content

Frank Giraldo


This study reports the contextual Language Assessment Literacy (LAL) of five Colombian English language teachers. Two semi-structured interviews and reflective journals were used for data collection. The findings show that the teachers used varied traditional and alternative assessment instruments, assessed language and non-language constructs, used assessment information to improve teaching and learning, evaluated assessment results, and engaged students in quantitative peer assessment. As for beliefs, data show that students’ success and failure in assessment were connected to past experiences, and that assessment was appropriate given a number of features. Participants’ answers about LAL show a complex and multifaceted construct. Taken together, the findings serve as baseline data to further professional development in language assessment.

Article Details

How to Cite
GiraldoF. (2019). Language Assessment Practices and Beliefs: Implications for Language Assessment Literacy. HOW Journal, 26(1), 35-61.
Research Reports
Author Biography

Frank Giraldo, Universidad de Caldas

He holds a BA in English language teaching from Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira; an MA in English didactics from Universidad de Caldas, Colombia; and an MA in the teaching of English as a second language from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA). His interests include language assessment, curriculum design, and the professional development of English language teachers.


Arias, C., & Maturana, L. (2005). Evaluación en lenguas extranjeras: discursos y prácticas. Íkala: Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura, 10(1) 63 – 91.

Arias, C., Maturana, L., & Restrepo, A. (2012). Evaluación de los aprendizajes en lenguas extranjeras: hacia prácticas justas y democráticas. Lenguaje, 40(1), 99-126.

Brookhart, S. M. (2003). Developing measurement theory for classroom assessment purposes and uses. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 22, 5-12.

Brookhart, S. M. (2011). Educational assessment knowledge and skills for teachers. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 30, 3-12.

Brown, G. (2004). Teachers' conceptions of assessment: Implications for policy and professional development. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 11(3), 301-318.

Brown, J. D., & Bailey, K. (2008). Language testing courses: What are they in 2007? Language Testing, 25(3), 349-383.

Cheng, L., Rogers, T., & Hu, H. (2004). ESL/EFL instructors’ classroom assessment practices: purposes, methods, and procedures. Language Testing, 21(3) 360–389.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (1998). Research methods in education. London, UK: Routledge.

Davies, A. (2008). Textbook trends in teaching language testing. Language Testing, 25(3), 327–347.

Díaz, C., Alarcón, P., & Ortiz, M. (2012). El profesor de inglés: sus creencias sobre la evaluación de la lengua inglesa en los niveles primario, secundario y terciario. Íkala: Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura, 17(1), 15-26.

Frodden, M., Restrepo, M., & Maturana, L. (2004). Analysis of assessment instruments used in foreign language teaching. Íkala: Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura, 9(15), 171 – 201.

Fulcher, G. (2012). Assessment literacy for the language classroom. Language Assessment Quarterly, 9(2), 113–132.

Giraldo, F. & Murcia, D. (2018). Language assessment literacy for pre-service teachers: Course expectations from different stakeholders. GiST Education and Learning Research Journal, 16, 56-75.

Giraldo, F. (2018). Language assessment literacy: Implications for language teachers. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 20(1), 179-195.

Glasser, B. J., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New Jersey, USA: Aldine Transaction.

González, A. (2007). Professional development of EFL teachers in Colombia: Between colonial and local practices. Íkala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura, 12(18), 309-332.

Inbar-Lourie, O. (2008). Constructing a language assessment knowledge base: A focus on language assessment courses. Language Testing, 25(3), 385-402.

Inbar-Lourie, O. (2013). Guest editorial to the special issue on language assessment literacy. Language Testing, 30(3) 301–307.

Inbar-Lourie, O. (2017). Language assessment literacy. In E. Shohamy, S. May, & I. Or (Eds.), Language Testing and Assessment (third edition), Encyclopedia of Language and Education (pp. 257-268). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Lopez, A., & Bernal, R. (2009). Language testing in Colombia: A call for more teacher education and teacher training in language assessment. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 11(2), 55-70.

Mackey, A., & Gass, S. (2005). Second language research methodology and design. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

McNamara, T., & Hill, K. (2011). Developing a comprehensive, empirically based research framework for classroom-based assessment. Language Testing, 29(3), 395–420.

Messick, S. (1989). Validity. In R. L. Linn (Ed.), Educational measurement (3rd ed.) (pp. 13-103). New York: American Council on Education and Macmillan.

Muñoz, A., Palacio, M., & Escobar, L. (2012). Teachers’ beliefs about assessment in an EFL context in Colombia. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 14(1), 143-158.

Nier, V. C., Donovan, A. E., & Malone, M. E. (2009). Increasing assessment literacy among LCTL instructors through blended learning. Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, 9, 105–136.

Popham, W. J. (2011). Assessment literacy overlooked: A teacher educator’s confession. Teacher Educator, 46, 265-273.

Rea-Dickins, P. (2001). Mirror, mirror on the wall: Identifying processes of classroom assessment. Language Testing, 18(4), 429–462.

Scarino, A. (2013). Language assessment literacy as self-awareness: Understanding the role of interpretation in assessment and in teacher learning. Language Testing, 30(3), 309-327.

Stiggins, R. J. (1991). Assessment literacy. Phi Delta Kappan, 72(7), 534–539.

Stiggins, R. J., Arter, J. A., Chappuis, J., & Chappuis, S. (2004). Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it right—using it well. Portland, OR: Assessment Training Institute.

Taylor, L. (2009). Developing assessment literacy. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 29, 21–36.

Taylor, L. (2013). Communicating the theory, practice and principles of language testing to test stakeholders: Some reflections. Language Testing, 30(3), 403-412.

Vogt, K., & Tsagari, D. (2014). Assessment literacy of foreign language teachers: Findings of a European study. Language Assessment Quarterly, 11(4), 374-402.

Walters, F. S. (2010). Cultivating assessment literacy: Standards evaluation through language-test specification reverse engineering. Language Assessment Quarterly, 7, 317–342.