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Discuss and critique the appropriacy and usefulness of IELTS writing test methods for testing academic writing skills. Illustrate your response with reference to current theory relating to test development and validation procedures.

1. Introduction (200 words)

2. Background: introduce the purpose and appropriacy or usefulness of the IELTS academic writing paper (300 words)

3. Critique the way the skill is assessed (1500 words include the following points):

3.1 Discuss the validity and reliability issue

3.2 Test specification

3.3 Practicality

3.4 Washback issue

3.5 Stakeholders’ views

3.6 Interactiveness and authenticity, and 3.7 The psychometric tradition of the test

4. Suggest improvements

5. Conclusion: there isn’t a perfect test

6. References (include the following references)

Alderson, J.C., C. Clapham & D. Wall (1995). Language Test Construction and Evaluation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch.2

Bachman, L.F. & A.S. Palmer (1996). Language Testing in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fulcher, G. (2010). Practical language testing. London: Hodder Education.

Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch. 7

McNamara, T. F. (2000). Language testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ch. 3

Alderson, J.C., Clapham, C. & Wall, D. (1995). Language test construction and evaluation. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press

Bachman, L.F. (1990). Fundamental Considerations in Language Testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Berry, V. and Lewkowicz, J. (2000). Assessment in Chinese Contexts: Special Issue of the Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics. The English Centre, The University of Hong Kong

Fulcher, G. and Davidson, F. (2007). Language Testing and Assessment. Abingdon: Routledge

McNamara, T. (1996). Measuring Second Language Performance. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

Weir, C.J. (2005). Language Testing and Validation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan


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