Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENGL652
Coordinator Mr C Newton
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 15


The module aims to provide participants with an opportunity to review recent developments in approaches to language testing, and to examine critically professional practices in the light of these developments. The module covers both standardized national/international tests and classroom tests. For standardized tests, we examine why they have been designed in the way they have; how they relate to teaching; what conclusions can be drawn from scores on the tests (this includes a simple introduction to statistics for testers); and what the advantages and disadvantages of the test types are. For classroom tests, we discuss in what ways they are (or should be) different from standardized tests; we look at factors which may influence their design and the choice of different test types; and we consider the relationship between testing and teaching. Throughout the module we examine what is involved in implementing the ideas by evaluating sample tests and test items of various kinds for spec ific types of learners. We also do some work on designing our own tests. The main focus is on identifying testing techniques which will complement communicative approaches to teaching.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of a range of relevant literature.

(LO2) To show awareness of key aspects of the practical implementation of a communicative approach to testing.

(LO3) On the basis of the concepts introduced in the module and through their reading, to reflect critically on existing materials for the testing of Foreign Languages, with special focus on English.

(LO4) To reflect critically on professional practices in language testing and design and discuss appropriate ways of improving them where necessary.

(S1) Knowledge and understanding of effective aspects of effective assessment and its relation to language acquisition and the ELT industry.

(S2) Effective academic writing and referencing.

(S3) Effective, targeted linguistic research.

(S4) Critical discussion skills.



Topics typically covered include:
Three generations of testing theory,
Key concepts in testing: types of test,
An introduction to statistics for testers,
Testing communicative performance,
Designing test specifications,
Testing skills: evaluating published tests,
Testing skills: designing your own tests,
Testing grammar,
Reliability in marking, and
Alternative approaches to assessment.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered by weekly 2-hour seminars of no more than 25 students. The majority of teaching will be delivered face to face on campus. Online delivery will be used to complement the on-campus delivery and where technology affords a better learning experience.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 10


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 130


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When): Semester 2    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.