Recent Blog Posts

According to a new study just released by the University of Chicago, a foreign accent may undermine a person’s credibility. Participants who took part in the study were asked to rate the truthfulness of statements made by both native and non-native speakers of English. The researchers found that truthfulness ratings […]

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What is a Psychometrician? A psychometrician is someone who practices the science of educational and psychological measurement, or in other words, testing. Psychometricians measure the validity, reliability, and fairness of an exam program, and are an integral part in the process of creating valid and reliable language tests. They may […]

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In the years that I’ve worked at ALTA, I’ve read a lot of literature about test design, validation techniques, and testing standards. Most of this literature comes in the form of dry, statistic-laden academic materials (apologies to all who enjoy statistic-laden academic materials), but one resource in particular stood out […]

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As a language testing provider, clients ask us to describe the added value of using an independent language testing organization such as ALTA. By having language tests administered independently, businesses, government agencies and healthcare organizations gain certain advantages: Independent language testing is unbiased The testing organization has no vested interest […]

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We’ve all had the experience of taking a multiple choice test — one is given a question, and then has to choose the correct answer from a group of choices, usually “a,” “b,” “c,” and “d.” From a test-taker’s perspective, these can sometimes be very intimidating. Does the following line […]

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You may have had an experience where you took a test for a class, and the instructor showed you the class’s results afterwards. The results probably mapped out into the infamous “bell-shaped curve”, with a few people scoring on the low end of the curve, the majority clustering in the […]

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Language testing has been all over the news lately, from new immigration policies requiring language testing for working immigrants, to globalization studies on hiring multi-lingual employees to conduct business in emerging markets throughout the world. Some business and government agency leaders may be considering language testing, but may not be […]

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To verify that an employee or potential employee can speak or write another language at the appropriate level, you should use valid language testing. In most professional circumstances, it takes more than a simple interview: you need to be confident that the language testing methodology you employ is both valid […]

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