Validation of a web-based ESL test

Carol A. Chapelle, Joan Jamieson, Volker Hegelheimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The web offers new opportunities to realize some of the current ideals for interactive language assessment by providing learners information about their language ability at their convenience. If such tests are to be trusted to provide learners with information that might help to improve their language ability, the tests need to undergo validation processes, but validation theory does not offer specific guidance about what should be included in a validity argument. Conventional wisdom suggests that low-stakes tests require less rigorous validation than high-stakes tests, but what are the factors that affect decisions about the validation process for either? Attempting to make these contributing factors explicit, this article examines the ways in which the purpose of a low-stakes web-based ESL (English as a second language) test guided its design and the validation process. The validity argument resulting from the first phase of the validation process is illustrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-439
Number of pages31
JournalLanguage Testing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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