Recent legislation in Italy has established national guidelines to learning and assessment for students who are medically certified with specific learning disabilities (SpLDs) to guarantee their access to education. The guidelines set out recommended compensatory measures and alternative assessment, as well as exemptions from examinations. As a result of the greater awareness of the needs of students with SpLDs, increasing numbers of dyslexic students are continuing their studies at secondary school and university level. Italian universities now require mandatory certification of general English skills at the CEFR level B1 on enrollment, and many postgraduate courses require certification of a B2 level of English proficiency. The growing numbers of dyslexic students applying for university entrance raise the issue of providing fair and valid tests of English language, while applying the guidelines imposed by law. This article sets out to examine some of the issues of validity that arise when considering the assessment of the English language of university students who are certified with dyslexia and related SpLDs. I begin with a review of the legislative background in Italy to identify the provisions made for students with SpLDs. I then give a brief definition of these SpLDs and the implications they have for the learning of English. I conclude with an outline of concepts of validity in language testing, and a discussion of how a judicious application of the Italian guidelines is needed to reduce the threat to test validity and fairness.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Titolo:||Language testing for students with SpLDs: Considerations of validity and fairness|
|Titolo del libro:||PERSPECTIVES Spring 2011 vol. XXXVIII n.1|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|