Modern principles of developing the subtest “Reading and Use of Language” of the TORFL-II

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Abstract


The article is devoted to the topical problem of modern principles of developing tests of Russian as a foreign language (RFL), taking into account the world experience. The purpose of the article is to summarize the modern principles of language test development and to show how they are implemented in the new tests of Russian as a foreign language. The materials of the article include the research papers of Russian and foreign authors in the sphere of methodology over the past 20 years, as well as modern formats of testing in foreign languages. At the first stage of the study, general scientific methods of generalization, systematization and structuring were used. At the second phase, a new format of the RFL test “Reading and Use of Language” (B2) was modelled, combining language and communication competence testing. At the third stage, an experiment was conducted to test the new format. 48 foreign master students studying the program “Russian Language and Russian Culture in the Aspect of Russian as a Foreign Language” in Saint Petersburg State University took part in the experiment. It was concluded that the modern language test, in accordance with the basic cognitive and communicative principle of learning and control, should be based on the following principles: testing skills in different types of speech activities mainly on the text material; interdependence between the type of the task and the speech genre of the text being created/used in the task; basing on a linguistic and didactic description of the communicative competence level; integrative approach; using different types of test tasks within one subtest; the principle of increasing complexity of tasks; taking into account the complexity of each task in its assessment; task feasibility according to students’ educational level; taking into account the values of the multicultural world; taking into account international experience; basing on reliability and validity criteria of test tasks. These principles implemented in the new TORFL-II subtest format “Reading and Use of Language” are presented in the article. The implementation of modern test principles should ensure that all speech control facilities are systematically allocated to the appropriate level and parameters for their assessment. The above-mentioned principles of test creation and the example of their implementation can be taken as the basis of a full-fledged system of control and measurement materials based on linguistic and didactical descriptions of each level.


About the authors

Inna N. Erofeeva

Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: i.erofeeva@spbu.ru
7-9 Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya, Saint Petersburg, 119034, Russian Federation

Сandidate of Pedagogy, Associate Professor of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language and Methodology of its Teaching

Tatiana I. Popova

Saint Petersburg State University

Email: t.popova@spbu.ru
7-9 Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya, Saint Petersburg, 119034, Russian Federation

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Professor, Head of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language and Methodology of its Teaching

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