Evaluating Assessment Standards and Frameworks
The last decade has seen a rise in national and regional/state assessment schemes for use in both English as an Additional and Second Language (EAL/ESL)1 and foreign language (FL) contexts (e.g. North and Schneider 1993; North 2000; Council for Cultural Cooperation 2001). These are commonly referred to, interchangeably, as assessment standards, frameworks or benchmarks. A general overview and critique of outcomes-based assessment — as reflected in different frameworks — has been provided most notably by Brindley (1998, 2001; see also Cumming 2001; McKay et al. 2001a and b). More specifically, McKay (2000) has reported on the development of the NLLIA Bandscales (National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia (NLLIA) 1994), whilst Scott and Erduran (2004) have provided a critique of two assessment frameworks: the NLLIA Bandscales and the TESOL Standards (TESOL 1997), based on the evaluation study by South et al. (2004; and see section 11.2).
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