CEFR based test Validation and Fairness ‎Assessment

Document Type : research article


1 Professor of TEFL University of Tehran

2 Assistant Professor of TEFL University of Tehran

3 Ph.D. Candidate University of Tehran Kish International Campus


Fairness in test assessment and evaluation is one of the most important goals in the field of ‎language learning and assessment. In recent decades, experts have focused ‎on the relationship between Validity and Fairness. However, some scholars believe that validity ‎is part of fairness. At the same time others are of the idea that achieving fairness is ‎in fact the acquisition of test validity. To achieve a sound and unified conceptualization of the relationship between these two concepts numerous qualitative and quantitative methods have been proposed and implemented.The Common European Frame of Reference (CEFR) is claimed to be a culture neutral that to the effect that all languages, regardless of the social and cultural backgrounds can be subsumed under the proposed system of descriptors for achieving educational equality and ‎assessment in teaching and learning. In this research, a test of 25 items based ‎on the CEFR descriptors was developed. In order to obtain adequate information ‎necessary to determine the test validity, 150 male and female participants took the test. The participants were all freshman in studying in various engineering courses. In addition to the mentioned test, a questionnaire of 75 items was used to distinguish ‎groups of participants based on their interests, educational, and occupational goals. The data were analyzed to determine the ‎Differential Item Functioning (DIF) of each item by Item Response Theory ‎‎(IRT). Combined together it was determined that in test validation procedure and investigation of test fairness test takers' interest also accounts.


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