Language Assessment in Practice

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Beth Clark-Gareca


Language Assessment in Practice by Lyle Bachman and Adrian Palmer is a defining text within the field of language assessment. With an expected readership of students, language teachers with varying experience, applied linguists, professional language testers, materials developers and textbook writers, Language Assessment in Practice is ambitious at its core. Nonetheless, the authors‘ logical approach and straightforward writing style make this a highly accessible text for all members of its intended audience. In an inviting first chapter titled ―Objectives and Explanations, or why we need another book about language testing,‖ Bachman and Palmer explain their reasons for taking on this project, especially in light of their earlier, formative work Language Testing in Practice (Bachman & Palmer, 1996). Using Bachman‘s articulation of the Assessment Use Argument (AUA) as its organizing theoretical framework, Language Assessment in Practice represents a distinct departure from the earlier text. At nearly twice the number of pages of text (excluding the projects in the final chapters of both books), and incorporating extensive resources available online, this volume represents a significant evolution in the authors‘ thinking about assessment.

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