Language assessment can be an integral part of learning for students and teachers in language classrooms. It also appears in a multitude of decisions made by teachers, students and administrators. Assessment is used when placing students into courses, diagnosing their needs, determining when learning goals are met, evaluating teaching methods, as well as providing learners with self-evaluative information.

When teachers decide to use assessment, they should carefully consider why they are assessing learners, what information are they trying to access, and how can they best elicit this information. This module provides some ideas and examples for answering these questions. Teachers are also encouraged to bring students into the assessment process as a way to synthesize learning and assessment.

Instructor's Final Comments
During my first several years as a language teacher, I became really sick of tests, and would have been very surprised that I have since become a specialist in this area. I felt particularly frustrated by the power that examinations held over my students' motivation and goals. Slowly I came to realize that the more I knew about testing and how to develop and use assessment in meaningful ways, the less I felt this struggle. When I think of assessment as more than "the final exam", I can see opportunities for learning and for uses that improve teachers' understanding of their students and that can be motivating to students. My hope is that this module helps teachers understand the usefulness of assessment for their classroom purposes and gives them an informed voice in decisions made with assessments."