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Multilevel monitoring of language development

Innovative trends in CAT: multilevel monitoring of language development and Language policy in schools.
In the next years, Dutch schools will be required to implement a monitoring system which includes standardized tests for language and math. There is a need for a computer based dynamic testing system not only spotting individual differences but also monitoring language development over years in terms of set standards related to the CEF. The tests scores should be standardized on the individual level and on the national level as well, for the purpose of benchmarking and school improvement.
In this paper I will report on the design, research and development of the Computer adaptive testing system Diataal. The adaptiveness of the system not only applies to the individual measurement (zone of proximal development and score profile analyses) but also to the reporting facility that enables users in the school at different levels of decision making to analyze the test data according to their needs. I will focus on the recently developed multi Level monitoring system which allows users to generate reports on the individual, the classroom and the school level. In a survey among users it was inventoried to what extent they make use of the test data and the reporting system as starting point of their language policy. It was found that in the initial phases schools use the tests mainly on the individual level, spotting weak students and putting them in remedial classes. The more schools are advancing in the development of their language policy, the more they focus on the classroom and school level as well and make use of the multilevel data that are available.


Hilde Hacquebord    
Applied Linguistics
University of Groningen

Dr. H.I. Hacquebord is associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and a professional test developer.


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