Dr. Ofra Inbar-Lourie, Tel-Aviv University EALTA 2015 Keynote Bridging the policy-practice formative assessment gap: A language assessment literacy perspective Ever since Black and Wiliam's seminal 1998 'Inside the Blackbox' publication and the ensuing 'Assessment for Learning' movement, formative assessment paradigms have become part and parcel of educational assessment policies in many parts of the world. The language testing field is also gradually acknowledging and partially embracing formative assessment motifs, striving to create cultures where assessment 'for', 'as', and 'of' learning co-exist harmoniously. However, contrary to these somewhat idealized expectations, reality shows that external tests still powerfully prevail and dominate the scene nurtured by national and international policies and standards, while implementation of formative assessment for learning principles and practices lags far behind the declared policies. This presentation will attempt to critically probe what may account for this discrepancy and what has and is going amiss in the process. It will first question the robustness of the theory and its dichotomous underpinnings, its feasibility and resilience in view of strong global and local language policies as well as complex classroom realities. It will then suggest examining the role of language assessment literacy in enhancing and bridging the gap between assessment policies and practices.
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