Language Testing and Assessment

Module code: EN7507

Language testing is endemic to 21st century society. It is used to screen students for entry to educational institutions, employ professionals such as pilots and health professionals, and restrict immigration. The results of language tests can enhance your career, or restrict your life chances. This module therefore explores how we test English language with specific reference to validation theory (the justification for score use in decision making). We look at the process of test design and the principles that underlie good practice. In the consideration of how we develop and build good language tests we continually look to the impact that their use will have on individuals and society.

Topics covered

  • Approaches to “validity” and “validation”
  • Large-scale institutional testing
  • Classroom assessment
  • Models of communicative language ability
  • Writing test specifications
  • Designing test tasks and items
  • Evaluating tests


  • 5 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours of tutorials
  • 5 hours of project supervision
  • 138 hours of guided independent study


  • Assignment, 3,000 words (100%)


With the prior agreement of the module leader(s) the assessment for two option modules may be combined in a single submission of 6,000 words.