The Distinguishing Characteristic of Task-based Language Assessment
Keywords:task-based language assessment, task-based language teaching, assessment task, measure of performance
Since its advent, the principles of Task-Based Language Teaching have been extended to assessment giving rise to Task-Based Language Assessment. Despite the growing body of research on the efficacy of Task-Based Language Teaching in instruction, the application of the assessment based on the tenets of Task-Based Language Teaching has been mainly neglected in some studies owing to their lack of use of Task-Based Language Assessment to measure the effectiveness of Task-Based Language Teaching (viz., Li, et al., 2016). The present study emphasizes the importance of Task-Based Language Assessment and highlights the feature that distinguishes this type of assessment from other assessments. The study concludes that while the performance-referenced feature of Task-Based Language Assessment is an essential characteristic thereof, it is, in fact, the holistic and direct feature of Task-Based Language Assessment that distinguishes it from other assessments. The more the assessment measure is incorporated in the performance of assessment tasks, the more the assessment tasks are based on the tenets of Task-Based Language Assessment. Therefore, the holistic and contextualized assessment tasks improve the confidence with which language teachers could generalize the results of the assessment tasks to real-life situations.
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