بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Open University of Sudan
Directorate of Postgraduate Studies
Language Testing in Practices: Designing and Developing Useful English Language Testing
A case study of education program at Open University of Sudan
A Research Submitted in Partial fulfillment for the Requirements of the of Master’s Degree in Education (ELT)
By: Asma Alamin Moubark Supervisor: Dr: Omar Elshikh Hago
When we consider using a language test, it is generally because we have some particular use or purpose in mind. For example, we may need to select the most qualified individuals from among a pool of job applicants, or we may need to place students into an appropriate level in language programme. Whatever the specific purpose of which we need to use a language test, this purpose is likely to fall into one or more of the following general categories of test use (1) to make inferences about language ability (2) to make predications about test taker‘s ability to use language in contexts outside the test itself, and to make decisions about individuals based on these interference or predictions. The primary consideration in developing a language test then is the use for which it is intended. It would thus make sense to ask the question, ‘what make a given test useful for its intended purpose?’ or ‘what are the qualities that we need to consider when evaluating the usefulness given test. Another question that we need to ask is, ‘what is setting in which we will make our inferences about language ability to generalise beyond the test itself, so that we need to carefully consider the extent to which the performance we elicit in a language test corresponds to the language use testing or domains will have important implications for the validity of our uses of the test results. 
To some extent, good testing procedure, like good language use, can be achieved through avoidance of errors. Almost any language-instruction program requires the preparation and administration of tests, and it is only to the extent that certain common testing mistakes have been avoided that such tests can be said to be worth while selection, diagnostic, or evaluation instruments.
There are several uses for the tests in educational programs, and often resort teachers to use the same test for more than one purpose. The informal classroom tests a common daily activity carried out by teachers spontaneously. English as second language students struggle to represent accurately on tests what they know. Understanding what constitutes equitable testing practices in university settings for English as second language students poses a significant challenge to educators This study concerns, strategies, and preferences in testing. English as second language students provide evidence that language proficiency, test anxiety, and preferences for particular test formats, such as multiple-choice over essay questions, affect their ability to demonstrate content knowledge. Students describe context, culture, language-related problems intesting, and show awareness of various test-taking strategies. The study suggests practical implications for making testing outcomes more equitable for English testing.
1. 1. Statement of the problem:
The researcher find some problem that faced the testing in designing and developing like the Lack of knowledge about the ability of language such as authenticity testing and the factors influencing them, the common mistakes in English language testing in general examination characteristics, item characteristics, test validity concern, The inability to critically read published research in language testing and information about published tests in order to make informed decisions, Lack of knowledge of the authors of the examinations for the development of concepts and design of the English language testing.
1.2. Research objectives
This study aims to achieve the following objectives:
1. To enable the tester to become competent in the design, development, and use of English language tests.
2. To make visible English as second language students’ perspectives on classroom testing practices.
3. To highlight practical implications for how university faculty can address English as second language students’ testing concerns.
4. To survey the common misconceptions about development and use of language tests and the resulting of the problems.
5. To know what language tests can do and what they should be like.
6. To know the aim of developing the tests to produce test specifications which can be used to construct live tests.
1.3. Research questions:
1. What are the understandings of the fundamental considerations that must be addressed at the start of any language testing effort, whether this involves the development of new tests or the selection of existing English language tests?
2. What are the understanding of the fundamental issues and concerns in the appropriate use of English language tests?
3. What are the fundamental issues, approaches, and methods used in measurement and evaluation?
4. How can we design, develop, evaluate and use English language tests in ways that are appropriate for a given purpose, context?
1.4. Hypotheses of the study
1. There an understanding of the fundamental considerations that must be addressed at the start of any language testing effort, whether this involves the development of new tests or the selection of existing
2. The fundamental issues, approaches, and methods used in English language tests do not well understood.
3. There is an understanding of the fundamental issues and concerns in the appropriate use of English language tests are measurement and evaluation
4. Who can design, develop, evaluate and use English language tests in ways that are appropriate for a given purpose, context.
1.5. Significance of the study
The importance of this study comes from that testers themselves need to know what the problems faced when they put the test and how can avoid form the mistake when they put the exam and know the ways to improve and development and design in practice the English language testing.
1.6. Scope and limits of the study:
The study is carried out with respect to the following limits:
1. Temporal boundaries: The examination of English language program of Open University of Sudan 2004-2013 in the course (language in use)
2. Spatial boundaries :Open University of Sudan
3. Objectivity border: Analysis of the English language examinations for the breeding program of the year 2004-2013 in the course (language in use)
1.7. Research Method
In this study the researcher adopted the descriptive analytical method and questionnaires as a tool for collecting data.
1.8. Research Sample
English Language examination at Open University of Sudan in the course (language in use)
1.9 . Summary
This chapter provided a relevant introduction to the research problem. It also introduced the study statement of problem, research questions, research hypotheses, the purpose, the significance of the study, basic assumption, limitations of the study, research method and research sample .