Translation Guy Blog
As you know, tests and assessments are essential tools in the fields of psychology and education. Their development and use have far-reaching implications. The International Test Commission (ITC) recognizes this and is one important proponent of test and assessment standards. The global association is comprised of test publishers, psychological associations and others involved in the “development, evaluation and uses of educational and psychological instruments.”
The ITC promotes test and assessment best practices and standards in the form of published guidelines, such as the “International Guidelines on Test Adaptation.” Developed by an expert committee, this document is a road map to help ensure fairness and integrity during the process of testing adaptation and translation for educational and psychological instruments. It takes varying cultural and linguistic contexts into account with the goal of effectively creating a level playing field for test takers — no matter what language they speak or what culture they come from. It’s all about equivalence, understanding and equal participation for test takers of all of a test’s versions.
“International Guidelines on Test Adaptation” puts forward a number of best practice considerations for testing adaptation and translation. It includes making sure that test takers are familiar with the test format and procedures, they can understand the language used in the directions and in the test, and they are familiar with the test content itself. Furthermore, the guidelines recommend that test adapters and translators actively account for test takers’ linguistic and cultural differences, create evidence for test equivalence among the different language versions, prove that test items are statistically equivalent among the different language versions, identify test items that would be culturally unsuitable by the intended test takers, be transparent about the validation process and do not use nonequivalent questions for purposes of comparison. Implementing processes that adequately take these considerations into account help guarantee a test’s integrity across many languages and cultures.
You can become more familiar with the ITC guidelines here.