New book puts spotlight on language testing in a multilingual society

I am most pleased that our book has (finally!) arrived by courier from the UK:

Assessing academic literacy in a multilingual society: Transition and transformation. (New Perspectives on Language and Education; no. 84.) Bristol: Multilingual Matters. DOI: 10.21832/WEIDEM6201. Edited by: Albert Weideman, John Read, Theo du Plessis.

One would have to go far to find another publication in which one can gain such instant insight into the issues addressed by the South African language testing community. It should be of huge benefit to language testing scholars to have everything together, with subject and author index, as well the standalone chapters logically organized under the different sections:

Part 1: Conceptual Foundations: Policy, Construct, Learning Potential
Part 2: Assessing Academic Literacy at Secondary School Level
Part 3: Assessing Discipline-Specific Needs at University

Does one size fit all?

I was privileged to have been able to contribute two chapters. The first (Chapter 3) offers a view on the pertinent question of whether it is responsible merely to use and reuse tests in different, albeit comparable, contexts. Although such a pragmatic approach seems to be justifiable, can it still be considered fair and valid, measuring what it aims to test? This chapter considers the translation of an Afrikaans academic literacy test, designed for South African universities, into Dutch for use in the Netherlands. Here is the link to a comprehensive abstract and references:

Van Dyk, T.J., Murre, P., & Kotzé, H. 2021. Does one size fit all? Some considerations for test translation. In Weideman, Albert, Read, John & Du Plessis, Theo (Eds.)  Assessing academic literacy in a multilingual society: Transition and transformation, Chapter 3, pp. 52-74. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. DOI: 10.21832/WEIDEM6201

What the data tell us

Making sense of the existing literature is facilitated by my second contribution, a postscript to the book entitled “What the data tell us: an overview of language assessment research in South Africa’s multilingual context“. In that chapter I provide a detailed overview, analysis and interpretation of significant language assessment publications within the South African context. Although the well known NExLA (Network of Expertise in Language Assessment) bibliography remains a handy reference tool, this chapter makes it easy to get an overview and select the necessary publications for your own research. So much better than mere lists of publications!

Scholars wanting to publish in the field of language assessment could not ask for better: getting everything on a platter as it were, neatly organized and attractively presented in hard cover. You can order your copy from Multilingual Matters, or ask your university library to order a copy.



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