Developments in Validity Research in Second Language Performance Testing

Hacer Hande Uysal


The present paper aims to provide a short historical overview of the theoretical developments in validity research in second language performance testing. A comparative description and critical evaluation of different views such as the “Trinitarian approach” versus the construct validity model; “uniform approach,” versus “unified approach” as well as alternative and critical approaches to validation in L2 performance testing are presented. These various theoretical approaches are introduced in terms of their definitions of the validity concept, their suggested requirements for the validity research, and their attitudes towards reliability and theory while making interpretations of test scores. The paper also focuses on the current problems with the applicability of these theoretical approaches, and discusses future directions in validity research.


Key words: Second language assessment, performance assessment, validity, reliability, validity research

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