Testing & Assessment
Assessment is a critical element in language education. Well-crafted assessments provide valid, reliable, and relevant information about student progress. Assessment data can be used to inform program evaluation and instructional design to better meet the needs of language learners and the educators who serve them.
For over fifty years, CAL has been a key player in developing language tests used by many public and private agencies. CAL staff produce resources, develop tests, conduct research on language testing, and provide professional development for language teachers on assessment. Our assessment projects serve foreign and English language learners of all ages at all educational levels. This includes professional settings, such as the government and workplace.
CAL has developed and is known for a variety of assessments including
- Adult English Language Assessments – BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy
- CAL English Proficiency Tests
To learn more about CAL's work and resources about this topic, browse the subtopics within this section.
CAL collaborates with the 39-state WIDA Consortium in its work to provide standards-based assessments for English language learners, most prominently on the Consortium’s assessment of English language proficiency, ACCESS for ELLs®. The test is currently taken by over 1,000,000 students annually.
Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC)
The Center for Applied Linguistics is working in collaboration with Georgetown University to establish the Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC) funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
STARTALK was created in 2006 to provide learning opportunities in the critical languages for students (K-16) and professional development for teachers of the critical languages, mainly through programs offered during the summer.
Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI) Test Administration Project
The COPI provides language educators with a computerized, time-efficient assessment of their native-English-speaking students' oral language proficiency in Arabic or Spanish.
CAL English Proficiency Tests
CAL English Proficiency Tests are a suite of separate English language proficiency tests developed for primary and secondary students and teachers in Latin America. The tests can be appropriately modified for use in countries where English is taught as a foreign language.
Adult English Proficiency Assessments
BEST Literacy and BEST Plus 2.0 address the needs of adult English language learners by providing assessment options that reliably demonstrate student progress. With BEST Plus 2.0 to measure speaking and listening skills and BEST Literacy to measure reading and writing skills, programs can test all of the four skill areas.
Assessment for Language Instructors: The Basics - Online Course
This online course provides world language instructors with an understanding of the fundamentals of assessment.
News & Events
CAL Releases Actionable World Language Resources & Supplements
CAL has launched supplementary World Language resources to ensure that the revised 2021 Massachusetts World Languages Curriculum Framework is actionable and inclusive for all educators.
[VIDEO] Researchers Work to Maintain Choctaw Language By Adapting CAL Assessment
CAL researchers have developed a native language assessment tool for students of the Choctaw language in Mississippi. The project, "Annopa Tikbishtiya," or "Carry the Language Forward," is ensuring that the language flourishes and grows from generation to generation. "When you see a student demonstrate [proficiency in the language], it gives hope." -Jason Lewis
CAL Launches Updated Assessment Resources for World Language and Heritage Language Teachers
As part of their work with the Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC) at Georgetown University, researchers at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) recently launched two updated resources for world language and heritage language educators.
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) 2020 Annual Convention (Virtual)
The ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo is where language educators from around the world come to meet. This global event brings together more than 7,000 language educators from all languages, levels, and assignments.
What Do Language Educators need to Know About Assessment?
This session focuses on what educators need to know in order to develop, implement and score effective classroom-based language assessments. Using examples from online and face-to-face courses, we will provide a framework for professional development in language assessment. View full proposal.