Multilingual Testing and Assessment for Plurilingual Education
Position paper by Bessie Dendrinos
This paper argues that, despite the ‘multilingual turn’ in (language) education, testing and assessment continue to be, by and large, monolingual enterprises and attempts to explain why. The few research projects which have recently been appearing in different parts of the world – projects targeting the development of approaches and the design/use of multilingual instruments of testing and assessment – have not developed a common discourse and their characteristics are often dissimilar, even if they aspire to serve a similar goal. There is inadequate substantial dialogue between researchers resulting in multilingual testing and assessment being a fragmented and somewhat incohesive disciplinary area, evinced in how terms and notions are used, and in how the agency of research participants is viewed. Given that research in the field is underlined by similar social concerns and that the construction of suitable instruments is quite challenging, multilingual testing and assessment – as an academic field of research and as a politically defined action – may profit immensely if research units worked collaboratively to explore and investigate a variety of issues, and to create tools and instruments in cooperation and by learning from one another.
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