Understanding the meaning potential of pictures in speech and language assessment

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Abstrakt

The goal of this article is threefold: (1) To question the use of images as prompts in language tests in relation to test validity (2) to show how the available documentation for tests in current use in Denmark reveals that test designers generally overlook this aspect in test development, and (3) to introduce a framework, generally based on Kress and Van Leeuwen’s multimodal social semiotic adaptation of Michael Halliday’s concept of metafunction, for a fuller understanding of the meaning potential of pictures used in tests. In the first part of the article we demonstrate that graphic depiction in language testing procedures is under-researched and rarely taken into account in the validity evidence for testing materials. In the second part we demonstrate the usefulness of a metafunctional approach when assessing the aptness of a picture for a given test situation.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftRASK – International journal of language and communication
Vol/bind49
Sider (fra-til)105-127
ISSN0909-8976
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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