Since 2007, Austria has seen a paradigm shift in the practice of language assessment at all levels of the educational system. Within a decade, tests and assessment instruments have been developed, most of them on a national scale. In principle, the paradigm shift consists in the introduction of principles of criterion-referenced assessment. This occurred in tandem with a move towards teaching, which is centered on making the competences that constitute the focus of teaching and learning explicit. While assessment in the foreign languages is geared towards the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, assessment in the language of instruction, mostly German, but also Slovene, Croatian and Hungarian, as well as assessment in the classical languages Latin and Ancient Greek, has followed suit. While assessment systems are now in place, research into the validity of these system is still at an early stage. Therefore, it is important to develop an agenda for validation research to accompany and support national language testing to ensure sustainability. The project aims to take stock of developments so far, and to lay the foundations for coordinated future research and development. Important results of the first phase of the project are documented in a book publication containing 30 contributions describing test development projects and accompanying research. Apart from a review from a content and linguistic point of view, all contributions were reviewed in detail from a statistical and methodological point of view by Hermann Cesnik and detailed feedback was given to the authors before resubmission. After this phase, the contributions were submitted for external review by the editors of Language Testing and Evaluation (Peter Lang publishers).
Günther Sigott (Ed./Hrsg.), Language Testing in Austria: Taking Stock / Sprachtesten in Österreich: Eine Bestandsaufnahme. Frankfurt / Main: Peter Lang.