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Language, Dialect, and Register: Sociolinguistics and the Estimation of Measurement Error in the Testing of English Language Learners


by Guillermo Solano-Flores — 2006

This article examines the intersection of psychometrics and sociolinguists in the testing of English language learners (ELLs); it discusses language, dialect, and register as sources of measurement error. Research findings show that the dialect of the language in which students are tested (e.g., local or standard English) is as important as language as a facet that influences score dependability in ELL testing. The development, localization, review, and sampling of items are examined as aspects of the process of test construction critical to properly attaining linguistic alignment: the correspondence between the features of the dialect and the register used in a test, and the features of the language to which ELLs are exposed in both formal and instructional contexts.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 11, 2006, p. 2354-2379
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12808, Date Accessed: 12/16/2017 8:11:34 AM

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About the Author
  • Guillermo Solano-Flores
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    E-mail Author
    GUILLERMO SOLANO-FLORES is associate professor of bilingual education and English as a second language at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research examines ways in which linguistics and psychometrics can be used in combination to develop improved models for the testing of linguistically diverse populations in international test comparisons and in the testing of linguistic minorities.
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