Analysis of Assessment Instruments Used in Foreign Language Teaching

  • María Cristina Frodden Armstrong Universidad de Antioquia
  • María Isabel Restrepo Marín Universidad de Antioquia
  • Liliana Maturana Matarroyo Fundación Universitaria Luis Amigó
Keywords: assessment, qualities of tests, foreign language testing, language compe¬tence


This article presents partial results of a research project on foreign language teachers' discourse and practices with respect to assessment, the aim of which is to improve tea­chers' assessment practices. The study, conducted in two Colombian universities, has various components: analysis of documents, interviews with teachers and students, and workshops with participating teachers in order to qualify them and agree on an improved assessment system. In this report we discuss the analysis made of tests, grids, registers, and forms and other kinds of instruments that teachers use to assess their students. For the analysis of instruments we used an inductive-deductive procedure whereby categories emerging from a first analysis of instruments were then refined by comparing them to those proposed by Bachman and Palmer (1996) and other authors. In general, teachers seem to prefer "hard" over "soft" types of assessment. Moreover, the qualities of assessment on which they seem to rely the most are practicality and reliability; and the ones least taken into consideration are authenticity and interactivity.

Received: 15-06-04 /Accepted: 03-08-04

How to reference this article:

Frodden Armstrong, M. C., Restrepo Marín, M. I. & Maturana Patarroyo, L. (2004). Analysis of Assessment Instruments Used in Foreign Language Teaching. Íkala. 9(1), pp. 171 – 201 

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Author Biographies

María Cristina Frodden Armstrong, Universidad de Antioquia

Maestría en Educación Especialidad: Lingüística Aplicada. Miembro del GIAE (Grupo de Investigación Acción y Evaluación en Lenguas Extran­jeras).

María Isabel Restrepo Marín, Universidad de Antioquia
Ikala.indd Estudiante de la Escuela de Idiomas Universidad de Antioquia. Pregrado en curso de Lenguas Extranjeras. Miembro del GIAE (Grupo de Investi­gación Acción y Evaluación en Lenguas Extranjeras).
Liliana Maturana Matarroyo, Fundación Universitaria Luis Amigó
Ikala.indd Especialización en Lenguas Extranjeras -Enseñanza Docente Auxiliar­Tiempo Completo. Fundación Universitaria Luis Amigó - Vicerrectoría Académica - Departamento de Idiomas. Miembro del GIAE (Grupo de Investigación Acción y Evaluación en Lenguas Extranjeras).


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How to Cite
Frodden Armstrong, M. C., Restrepo Marín, M. I., & Maturana Matarroyo, L. (2009). Analysis of Assessment Instruments Used in Foreign Language Teaching. Íkala, 9(1), 171-201. Retrieved from
Empirical Studies