Mary Anne Oxendale, RMIT Vietnam
Developing and Using a Reliable and Valid Language Assessment in an EAP Program in Vietnam: Working Within the Constraints of Reality

Assessment is the foundation of instructional goals and objectives, and language testing relies on empirical validation to ensure the fairness and the defensibility of the interpretations made based on learner test performance (McNamara 2006). However, when following best practices to develop and use a language assessment, reliability and validity will not necessarily follow automatically due to real conditions, real limitations and real uncertainties (Bachman and Palmer 2010).

A practical awareness of these limitations and how they can be overcome is just as important as knowing the theory. This presentation focuses on the trial and error process of how the School of Languages and English at RMIT Vietnam developed their language assessments, what was learned from it, and what we would do differently.

Mary Anne Oxendale is the National Assessment Operations and Project Development Coordinator in the School of Languages and English (SLE) at RMIT University Vietnam. Mary Anne began her career as an English language teacher in 2002 and has since worked in the secondary, tertiary and corporate sectors in Canada, Turkey, China and Vietnam, including 4 years as an IELTS speaking and writing examiner. She started as an assessment item writer for SLE in early 2017 before taking over the coordination of assessment operations and development. She is (still) finishing her MA in Applied Linguistics through Nottingham.