[Rasch] Test Translation & DIF

Buck, Gary garybuck at umich.edu
Fri Jan 16 06:40:58 EST 2009

Dear Anthony,

It is difficult to know what you are planning from this brief description, but this is a hugely complex issue, and a number of language-testing specialists have wrestled with it. The issue revolves around the degree to which the construct is affected by the translation process. Many would simply argue that the language of the test is part of the construct, and hence the construct is changed, and they should be regarded as different tests; and in a large number of cases, that is the only reasonable conclusion. The notion of bilingual test takers is very complex too, since most "bilinguals" have different ability levels in their two languages, and that can affect performance on the test of interest, yet finding balanced bilinguals is difficult, and then showing that they are balanced is well nigh impossible.

A chap called Charles Stansfield has a small company at http://www.2lti.com/, and they do test translation. He has some stuff on his web site, and Charlie is a helpful sort of chap and may be able to offer you some practical advice.


Gary Buck, Ph.D.
Director of Testing and Certification Division
garybuck at umich.edu

Street Address:
University of Michigan
English Language Institute
500 East Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI  48104-2028

Main Office:
phone: 734.764.2413
fax: 734.763.0369

On 1/15/09 2:21 PM, "Anthony James" <luckyantonio2003 at yahoo.com> wrote:

Dear all,
I want to study DIF in the context of test translation. That is, whether items exhibits different levels of difficulty in the original version and the translated version of a test. How should one go about doing this in Winsteps?
Two different linguistic groups have taken the original version of a test and its translation.
Do I need some bilingual test-takers to take both versions to establish a link to run DIF?
What else can be done, within classical test theory and Rasch measurement, to investigate translation equivalence and the validity of the translated version of a test?

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