chapter  17
9 Pages

Language use and assessment

ByNenagh Kemp

Children are assessed regularly during their years at school. From early on, teachers ask children informal questions, give weekly quizzes, or set more formal tests. In many countries, children participate in regional or national tests of educational attainment. Educational psychologists administer standardised tests to individual children, and researchers sometimes invite children to complete specific experimental tasks. In all of these types of assessment, there is an important role for language, whether written or spoken. Children’s performance depends not only on the extent to which they understand the task instructions, but also on the extent to which their expressive language abilities match the level required by the task.