Appropriate test translation and adaptation is a powerful practice. It allows educational and psychological tests to be meaningful for, and made available to, linguistic and/or cultural groups different than those the original test was designed to serve. But how?
How should test translation and adaptation be done? How can an adequate process be guaranteed?
That’s where the “ITC Guidelines for Translating and Adapting Tests” come in. They provide a solid framework of best practices for test translation and adaptation efforts.
These guidelines were written by a representative 13-member committee from the International Test Commission (ITC) and adopted in 2005. The ITC is a non-profit association concerned with developing and using educational and psychological tests. Its membership is composed of individuals, test commissions, psychological associations and other associations.
The “ITC Guidelines for Translating and Adapting Tests” contains 22 brief statements organized into four categories: 1. Context, 2. Test Development and Adaptation, 3. Administration, and 4. Documentation and Score Interpretation. They outline accepted best practices for translating and adapting educational tests and psychological instruments in national and international situations. Specific examples include: tests that are adapted to have comparable psychometric properties for multiple language versions in a single national context, and tests that were originally conceived for the purposes of international comparison.
While the guidelines serve as clear directives for test translation and adaptation efforts, implementation may prove trickier. For that reason, a number of writers, including Ronald K. Hambleton, have suggested how best to put the guidelines into practice.
If you’d like to discuss implementation of the ITC guidelines, or your organization’s requirements for test translation and adaptation, please get in touch at +1-212-355-4455 ext. 208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also view the entire “ITC Guidelines for Translating and Adapting Tests” here: https://www.intestcom.org/files/guideline_test_adaptation.pdf