2. Development of Large-scale High-stakes Testing

Assessing Speaking - Current and Future Perspectives - Fumiyo Nakatsuhara

Fumiyo Nakatsuhara [+-]
University of Bedfordshire
Fumiyo Nakatsuhara is Reader in Language Assessment at CRELLA, University of Bedfordshire.
Vivien Berry [+-]
British Council
Vivien Berry is Senior Researcher in Language Assessment at the British Council.


Chapter 2 discusses the use of Weir’s (2005) socio-cognitive framework to systematically guide speaking test development. It highlights the importance of a priori validation as an essential starting point of test development projects. It shows how a series of studies on context and cognitive validity can inform the development of test specifications. It also focuses on the development and validation of rating scales based on empirical evidence from test-takers’ output language, as well as describes different rating systems and their pros and cons. This chapter exemplifies some large-scale test development projects, such as Trinity’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) examinations, Eiken’s Test of English for Academic purposes (TEAP), and the British Council’s Aptis test. Chapter 2 also demonstrates how these tests, that addressed context and cognitive validity at the early test development phases rather than relying solely on a posteriori validation, can respond to the concept of ‘impact by design’, and contribute to building a bridge between large-scale high-stakes tests and classroom assessment, as discussed in Chapter 1.

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Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Berry, Vivien. 2. Development of Large-scale High-stakes Testing. Assessing Speaking - Current and Future Perspectives. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2025. ISBN 9780000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40212. Date accessed: 07 Jun 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40212. Oct 2025

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