Analysis of the Language Assessment--The Lecture Given by Prof. Antony Kunnan from University of Southern California



June 18th, 2010


On the afternoon of June 9th, Prof. Antony John Kunnan, the world-famous expert on language assessment from

University of Southern California, gave a lecture on the topic of “How Are We to Evaluate a Language Assessment?”. He

introduced the reliability, validity and equity of language assessment, as well as the washback in testing in simple and

humorous language.


The development of the language assessment is to some degree influenced by various factors, such as linguistics,

psychology and the development of measuring technique. An examination, especially a large-scale and high-risk

examination, not only requires the accuracy of assessment, but also needs favorable washback effect, which demands

the cooperation of the whole society including the staff of the language assessment, teachers, students, parents,

policy makers and employers. Prof. Antony Kunnan explored the sociality of the assessment and the washback in language

testing from micro and macro perspectives vividly by taking the examples of “Data Processing and Analysis” and

“the U.S. Naturalization Test”. He also referred to the relation between qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis as

well as their importance on the language assessment.


After the excellent lecture, Prof. Antony Kunnan answered all the questions raised by teachers and students from SIS.

All the participated teachers and students were filled with admiration for his erudition and creative thoughts.


 (Translated by Zhao Dantong)


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