Test Development Strategies Used by Saudi In-Service Teachers of English as a School Subject

Ibrahim S. Al-fallay


This study investigates how in-service teachers of English as a school subject (ESS) in Saudi schools deal with test construction, administration, and score analyses. To answer the study’s questions, a 60-item questionnaire was constructed according to the suggestions and recommendations of language testing specialists reported in the literature. The questionnaire was built according to seven dimensions: specifications/blueprints, test writing, moderation, test administration, scoring, analyses of students’ scores, and item banking. 199 female and male intermediate and high ESS teachers in Saudi schools, with different years of experience in teaching English, completed the questionnaire. The findings indicated that ESS teachers in Saudi schools do not usually follow suggested recommendations pertinent to the above-mentioned dimensions. Their tests are written without planned specifications or clear blueprints. Besides, ESS teachers- regardless of their gender, years of experience, or the level they teach- rarely moderate their tests. They rarely analyze their student test scores or store good testing items in an item bank for future use. The study provides suggestions and recommendations to improve the current situation. Workshops, seminars, and on-the-job training should be conducted. Academic departments in Saudi universities responsible for English teacher preparation programs should introduce courses related to language testing if they do not have any or increase their numbers if they already have some. The study concludes with suggestions for future research.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v9i3.11368

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