Theory-based Validity in Action

  • Cyril J. Weir
Part of the Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics book series (RPAL)


In Part 1 we argued that approximation to the construct in a measurement instrument is essentially the result of the interactions between its context and theory-based elements. In Chapter 6 we looked at the elements of the validity framework that need to be considered under context validity. We now turn to the theory-based elements. In our present state of knowledge it is easier to treat context- and theory-based aspects of validity separately for descriptive purposes but we recognize that it is the interaction between them and the scoring criteria that lies at the heart of construct validity; see Chapter 11, Case studies 1–3 for ways we might start to address these relationships. Establishing the nature of these interactions is what will take forward our understanding of language testing and the constructs it attempts to measure (see Chaloub Deville 2003 for a programmatic discussion of the ‘abilities-in language users-in contexts’ participant metaphor perspective).


Reading Comprehension Test Taker Reading Process Metacognitive Strategy Language Testing 
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Further reading


  1. Bygate (1987) is an early, but still useful, view of the speaking process, focusing on procedural aspects as against the componential approach adopted by many other writers.Google Scholar
  2. Levelt (1993) is one of the few researchers to address the process of speaking compared to the decidedly a-modal mindset of other applied linguists preoccupied with the written mode.Google Scholar
  3. Hughes (2002) sets the record straight about the importance of researching speaking in its own right with its own grammar and its own theory.Google Scholar
  4. Fulcher (2003) addresses the need to include empirical and theoretical analyses of response processes as part of developing a validity argument for a test.Google Scholar


  1. Alderson (2000) provides a comprehensive account of reading research and theory.Google Scholar
  2. Grabe and Stoller (2002) offer a comprehensive and readable account of reading theory, research and practice.Google Scholar
  3. Urquhart and Weir (1998) provide further detail on the conceptualization of reading adopted in this chapter. A thoughtful, if occasionally irreverent, overview of practice, process and product in reading.Google Scholar


  1. Rost (2002) provides an excellent overview of teaching and researching listening and provides a thorough treatment of the linguistic and pragmatic processes involved in listening.Google Scholar


  1. Hyland (2002) offers a wide review of writing research and teaching.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Cyril J. Weir 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cyril J. Weir
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research in Testing, Evaluation and Curriculum (CRTEC)Roehampton UniversityUK

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