Proper test development - how do you do it?
Thread poster: Cedomir Pusica

Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 16:14
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
May 29, 2010

Dear colleagues,

If some of you have previously had any experience in structured test development (where you knew why you were developing a test item and how it fits in the big picture of a person's knowledge), please give me your advice on this:

1) developing test items which, all together, hit the target (for example, if you decide to test one's translation ability - what would your guidelines be for different levels?)

2) would such test items (for testing translation ability) include only translation of various text excerpts at different difficulty levels (and what determines the level of difficulty) or you would include some multiple choice questions (e.g. which of the synonymous words fits best?)

3) how long should each test be (I am not talking about "test translations" normally sent out to people by agencies, rather a comprehensive testing system)

4) how much time do you think it takes to prepare one

5) what sources would you use for translation samples (daily press, literature, etc., and at what level of difficulty would you introduce samples from specialized areas, such as medicine, finance, engineering... if you would do that at all, and do you think a combination of all would be best?)

For the purpose of this thread, let's assume that the tested language levels are: B, C, D, E, where B is good knowledge, while E is proficiency level.

Looking forward to your comments!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Way Out May 30, 2010

This is a subject on which you cannot hope to get any meaningful guidance here. It is extremely broad and requires an amount of expertise that can only be found in large, experienced institututions; and even then they have to keep looking for more.

You're not going to do it.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:14
Member (2002)
German to English
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One way of testing at the in-depth level which you suggest May 30, 2010

Require the translator to have a recognised qualification, such as the Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation or equivalent (ATA qualification, or whatever).

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Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 16:14
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Too big for one translator to handle May 31, 2010

This, indeed, is a job for a group of specialists - psychologists, educationalists, translation professionals (of both languages tested), and of course - training in proper methodology...

My question is rather directed at translators in general. I'm trying to get your personal opinion on what you consider important in testing translation ability?


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