In this section we will provide different examples and provide resources related to sign language testing and assessment, both in a formative and summative framework of assessment which can support test developers, sign language teachers and other professionals involved in sign language teaching and assessment.
The assessment of sign language skills is based on so-called descriptors ("discretionary provisions") in the areas of reception, production, and interaction, adapted to language levels A1-C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
In this way, it is possible to assess the acquired skills of a learner and, therefore, to make transparent the language learning process as well as the associated development. The assessment can be divided into two areas: summative and formative assessment.
In summative assessment, the language learning process of the learner is seen as a whole. The performance at a specific point in time is analysed and assessed. Here, the progress and development of the learner are not taken into account. It can be compared to a test at the end of a module and it is, therefore, a final assessment.
Formative assessment, in contrast, reflects individual components of the language learning process. It analyses the learner's competences and skills as they are acquired step by step. From time to time, there are small assessments which make the development visible. In this way, the strengths and weaknesses of the learner can be identified. This gives learners and lecturers the opportunity to develop further learning objectives together. On the basis of the results obtained from the continuous assessment, the individual learning methods can be observed and changed if necessary. Formative assessment, therefore, facilitates the optimal elaboration of the various language learning processes.