Adapting Educational and Psychological Tests for Cross-Cultural Assessment

Adapting Educational and Psychological Tests for Cross-Cultural Assessment

Adapting Educational and Psychological Tests for Cross-Cultural Assessment

Adapting Educational and Psychological Tests for Cross-Cultural Assessment

Synopsis

Relatively few instruments have been truly adapted for application in other languages and cultures. The goal of this new book is to put an end to the faulty practices of adopting or "borrowing" tests from one culture without properly adapting them for another as set forth by the principles established by the International Test Commission (ITC).

Excerpt

In 1989 I happened to read a report on the comparative levels of mathematics achievement of school children in five countries. The results surprised me, and so I began to wonder about the impact of a variety of methodological factors that might have influenced the results: the quality of sampling of students in each participating country, the particular choices of content and format for the test, but mostly, I wondered about the way that the test had been translated from English to the other languages in which the test was used in the study. International studies of educational achievement can be invaluable to policy makers and educators but not if methodological factors undermine the validity of the results. It struck me that possibly the surprising results were due to the fact that the test may have been made unintentionally easier or harder by the translators. What were their qualifications? How much time were they given to do the work? What empirical evidence was compiled to support the equivalence of the test in multiple languages? I called the testing agency responsible for conducting the study to discuss test translation methods. Unfortunately, I was not overly impressed with the details they provided for how the test had actually been translated and how they checked the linguistic, psychological, and statistical equivalence of the test in multiple language and cultural groups.

In my own subsequent checking for good test translation practices I was disappointed by the relatively low level of methodological sophistication that I found compared to the sophistication in the testing field for addressing other important topics such as test . . .

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