The Concept of Wholeness in Language Testing

Chuen-Teng Huang & Phillip Charlier

Global English Test (GET) Center

National Development Initiatives Institute



Validity and reliability are the two essential qualities of tests. When communicative competence is concerned, linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic sub-competences are also involved. However, except for the linguistic component, how the other three sub-components are dealt with in tests is seldom touched. The purpose of this workshop is thus to explore and demonstrate how these other components can be effectively included to increase the validity of the test targeting the communicative competence of language learners. The presenters would address this issue from the concept of “wholeness” of language, instead of context-free linguistic forms. Sample test items from a communicative competence based proficiency English test, GET, will be used to demonstrate such a concept.

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