Recent Blog Posts

Since earning recognition for Innovation in Multicultural Health Care, Kaiser Permanente’s Clinician Cultural Linguistic Assessment language testing tool, which is administered by ALTA, has been receiving a lot of positive attention from people in the medical community. ALTA receives a mention in the following article from the California Healthfax publication:

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As our nation’s policy makers and health care providers debate the future of health care reform, ALTA and Kaiser Permanente are working together to improve the quality of care for ethnic minorities and multilingual patients. Having recently been recognized with an award for Innovation in Multicultural Health Care from The […]

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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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The mastery of foreign languages allows us to broaden national boundaries and blur international horizons. By learning a new language and the culture of a people, we gain the ability to move fluidly in the global marketplace. Now more than ever, foreign language skills provide employees and employers with a […]

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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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The Angoff Method is a widely used standard-setting approach in test development. In plain English, it is a kind of study that test developers use to determine the passing percentage (cutscore) for a test. The passing grade of a test can’t be decided arbitrarily; it must be justified with empirical […]

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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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Just days after we reported on Canada’s new immigration policy, English authorities have moved to implement mandatory language testing for immigrants. Interestingly, the move in England has caused a near panic amongst fans of English football, who fear that the new English proficiency test would keep some of the world’s […]

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