Elana Shohamy, Ph.D.

School of Education

Tel Aviv University

Personal Background


School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Israel 69978

Tel (Work):





Educational Background

1974 - 1978

Ph.D., University of Minnesota, School of Education

in Second Language Learning, Measurement & Evaluation

Dissertation Title: Investigation of Concurrent Validity of the

Oral Interview test with the Cloze Procedure for Measuring

Language Proficiency

Advisors: Professors Dale Lange and Helen Jorstad

1979 - 1981

Post Doctorate: Stanford University, School of Education

Second Language Acquisition and Testing

Sponsor: Professor Robert Politzer



Academic Background


Full Professor* of Language Education

Chair, Language Education Program

School of Education, Tel Aviv University

1993- 2000

Associate professor of Language Education

Chair, Language Education Program

School of Education, Tel Aviv University

1986 - 1992

Senior Lecturer (tenured)

Second Language Education Program, Tel Aviv University

(teaching courses in Language Testing, SLA Research

Methods, Second Language Acquisition, Language Policy, Immigrants’ Language Acquisition/Education, Language at the work place, etc.)

1981 - 1986

Lecturer, Tel Aviv University, School of Education Second Language Education Program

1979 - 1981

Coordinator, Instructor, University of California, Berkeley, Hebrew language program.


Researcher, Stanford University, School of Education; Research on the development of language proficiency tests for bilingual (English-Spanish) immigrant children.

1974 - 1978

Instructor, University of Minnesota, School of Education Second Language Education Program; Coordinator of teacher training program for second language teachers.



Academic Appointments


Chair, Language Education Program Tel Aviv University, School of Education

1994 - 2000

Co-director of Language Policy Research Center, Bar Ilan University, Israel

1996 - 1999

Research Director National Foreign Language Center, Washington, DC.


Advisory Professor, Hong Kong Institute of Education Hong Kong


Co-editor, the new journal Language Policy



Visiting/Teaching Professorships


Modern Language Center,
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Toronto, Canada

1990 (summer)

1992 (winter)

Dept. of Linguistics, Carleton University,

Ottawa, Canada (teaching courses in Teaching Language Testing)

1990 - 1991

Mellon Residence Fellow (12 months)

National Foreign Language Center

Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC

1992 - 1997

One month per year - Residence Fellow,

National Foreign Language Center, Washington, DC

1992, 1993

Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

(teaching Language Testing )

1994 (summer)

University of Jyvaskyla, Finland (Teaching Language Testing)

1995 (spring)

Georgetown University, Linguistics Dept, Washington DC

1995, 1996 (summers)

Trenton College, Mallorca Summer School

(teaching Language Testing)

1997 (summer)

Jewish Theological Seminar, New York

1998 (summer)

Carleton University, Ottawa, summer institute

(teaching Language Testing and Language Policy)

1999(Feb., Sept.)

Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

2000 (fall)

Professor at Penn State University, Applied

Linguistics Dept.(teaching Critical Language

Testing and Language Policy)

2002 (winter)

Professor at Penn State University, Applied

Linguistics Dept.(teaching Language Testing and Sociolinguistics)



Other Appointments

1982 - Present

Co-chair and Founder

Academic Committee for Research on Language

Testing (ACROLT), Israel

1984 - 1997

Editorial Board, Language Testing

1990 - 1993

Chair, AILA Commission on Language Testing and Evaluation

1992 - Present

Editorial Board of Modern Language Journal

1992 - 1994

President, International Organization for the Teaching and
Acquisition of Hebrew in Israel

1993 - 1995

Steering committee, IEA (International Evaluation Association)
study for International comparisons in languages


Chair, committee granting the ETS award for best dissertation, 1996


President, ILTA (International Association of Language Testing)


Co-Editor (w/ B. Spolsky of a book series on Language Policy for Kluwer


AAAL nominating committee


Co-Editor of the new Journal Language Policy



List of Publications

A. Books


1. Seliger, H. & Shohamy, E. 1989. Second Language Research Methods. Oxford University Press.

2. Spolsky, B. and Shohamy, E. 1999. The languages of Israel: Policy, ideology and practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

3. Shohamy, E. 2001. The power of tests: A critical perspective of the uses of language tests.


4. Shohamy, E. in preparation. The hidden agenda of language policy. Routledge (to be completed, December 2003)



5. Ackerman, W., Shohamy, E., West, J. & Zisenwine, D. (editors), 1984. A World Survey of Jewish Educational Curricula: The State of the Art. The Israeli -Diaspora Institute.

6. Shohamy, E. & Walton, R. 1992. Assessment for Feedback:Testing and Other Strategies. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, IO.

7. Lambert, R. and Shohamy, E. 2000. Foreign Language Policy and Pedagogy John Benjamin Press.

8. Cooper, R., Shohamy, E. and Walters J, 2001. Language Education. Volume in honor of Bernard Spolsky, John Benjamins Press.



B. Articles - in refereed journals

1. Shohamy, E. 1982. “Predicting Speaking Proficiency from Cloze Tests: Theoretical and Practical Considerations for Test Substitutions”. Applied Linguistics, 3, 1, 161-171.

2. Shohamy, E. 1982. “Affective Considerations in Language Testing”. Modern Language Journal. 66,1, 3-17.

3. Shohamy, E. 1982. “The Cloze Procedure and its Applicability for Testing Hebrew as a Foreign Language”. Hebrew Annual Review, 101-114.

4. Shohamy, E. 1983. “The Stability of the Oral Proficiency Trait on the Oral Interview Speaking Tests”. Language Learning, 33, 4, 527-539.

5. Politzer, R., Shohamy, E. & McRoarty, M. 1983. “Validation of Linguistic and Communicative Language Tests for Spanish-English Bilingual Programs”. Bilingual Review, vol. x, no. 1, 3-20.

6. Shohamy, E. 1983. “Rater Reliability of the Oral Interview Speaking Test”. Foreign Language Annals.16, 3, 219-222.

7. Shohamy, E. 1984. “Does the Testing Method Make a Difference? The Case of Reading Comprehension”. Language Testing, 1, 2, 147-70.

8. Shohamy, E., Reves, T. & Bejerano, Y. 1986. “Introducing a New Comprehensive Test of Oral Proficiency”, English Language Teaching Journal. 40, 3, 212-220.

9. Nevo, D. & Shohamy, E. 1986. “Evaluation Standards for the Assessment of Alternative Testing Methods: An Application”. Studies in Educational Evaluation. 12, 2, 149-158.

10. Shohamy, E. 1988. “A Proposed Framework for the Testing of Oral Proficiency”. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 10, 165-179.

11. Shohamy, E., Gordon, C., Kenyon, D., & Stansfield, C. 1989. “The Development and Validation of a Semi-Direct Test for Assessing Oral Proficiency in Hebrew”. Bulletin of Higher Hebrew Education. 4,1, 23-44.

12. Shohamy, E. 1989. “Evaluating Competence and Performance in the Foreign Language Classroom”. English Teachers’ Journal. 39, 20-26.

13. Olshtain, E., Shohamy, E., Kemp, J., Chatow, R. 1990. “Factors Predicting Success in EFL among Culturally Different Learners”. Language Learning. 40,1, 23-44.

14. Shohamy, E. 1990. “Language Testing Priorities: A Different Perspective”. Foreign Language Annals. 23,5, 385-393.

15. Shohamy, E. 1991. “Discourse Analysis and Language Testing”. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 11, 115-131.

16. Shohamy, E. 1991. “The Hebrew Speaking Test: An Example of International Cooperation in Test Development and Validation”. AILA Review. 7, 83-95.

17. Shohamy, E. & Inbar. O. 1991. “Construct Validation of Listening Comprehension Tests: The Effect of Text and Question Type”. Language Testing. 8,1, 23-40.

18. Shohamy, E. 1991. “ConnectiTesting and Learninin the Classroom and on the Program Level”. The Northeast Annual Report. 154-176.

19. Shohamy, E. 1991. “International Perspectives of Language Testing and Systems and Policy”. ACTFL Annual Review of Foreign Languages. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 16, 91-107.

20. Shohamy, E., Gordon, C. & Kraemer, R. 1992. “The Effect of Raters’ Background and Training on the Reliability of Direct Writing Tests”. Modern Language Journal 76,1,7-33.

21. Shohamy, E. 1992. “Beyond Proficiency Testing: A Diagnostic Feedback Testing Model for Assessing Foreign Language Learning”. Modern Language Journal. 76, 513-21.

22. Shohamy, E. 1994. “The Validity of Direct versus Semi-Direct Oral Tests”. Language Testing. 11, 2. 99-123

23. Shohamy, E. 1995. “Performance Assessment in Language Testing”. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 188-211.

24. Shohamy, E., Donitza-Schmidt, S and Ferman, I. 1996. “Test Impact Revisited: Washback Effect Over Time”. Language Testing. 13, 3, 298-317.

25. Shohamy, E. 1997. “Testing Methods, Testing Consequences: Are they Ethical? Are they Fair?” Language Testing, 14, 3, 340-49.

26. Shohamy, E. 1998. “Critical language testing and beyond”. Studies in Educational Evaluation. 24, 4, 331-345.

27. Spolsky, B. & Shohamy, E. 1999. “Language in Israeli Society and Education”. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 137, 93-114.

28. Jennings, M., Fox J,. Shohamy, E. Graves, B. 1999. The effect of choice on test takers’ scores in language tests. Language Testing. 15,4.

29. Shohamy, E. 2000. Interfaces of language testing and second language acquisition, revisited. System.

30. Shohamy, E. 2001. Democratic assessment as an alternative. Language Testing vol. 18, no. 4, 373-391.



C. Chapters in books

33. Shohamy, E. 1980. “Inter rater Reliability of the Oral Interview and Concurrent Validity with Cloze Procedure in Hebrew”.94-105 in A.S. Palmer, P.J.M. Groot and G. Trosper (eds.) The Construct Validation of Communicative Tests: An Introduction. Washington: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

34. Shohamy, E. 1983. “Inter-rater and Intra-Rater Reliability of Oral Interview and Concurrent Validity with Cloze Procedure”. 229-236 in J. Oller (ed.) Issues in Language Testing Research. Newbury House.

35. Shohamy, E. 1983. “Six Methods for Testing Reading Comprehension”. 77-94 in Wesche, M. and DeBrisay, M. (eds.) Proceedings of the 5th Language Testing Colloquium. Ottawa.

36. Shohamy, E. 1984. “The Hebrew Language Curriculum in Jewish Sxchools”. In Ackerman, W. Shohamy, E., West, J,. and Zisenwine, D. (eds.) A World Survey of Jewish Educational Curricula: The State of the Art. The Israeli -Diaspora Institute.

37. Shohamy, E. 1984. “Input and Output in Language Testing” 159-166 in Culhane, T., Klein Braley, C., and Stevenson, d. Occasional Paper, Practice and problems in language testing.

38. Shohamy, E. 1985. “An Alternative Model for Assessing Language Proficiency at the End of Secondary School”. 149-156 in Kohonen, V., Klein-Braley, C. Y von Essen, H. (eds.) Practice and Problems in Language Testing. no. 8, AFINLA (Finnish Association for Applied Linguistics).

39. Shohamy, E., Reves, T. & Bejerano, Y. 1985.133-144 in Kohonen, V., von Essen, H., and Klein Braley, C. (eds.) Practice and problems in language testing “From Testing Research to Educational Policy: Introducing a New Comprehensive Measure of Oral Proficiency” AFINLA (Finnish Association for Applied Linguistics).

40. Shohamy, E. 1992. “The Connection between Testing and Learning”. 1-28 in Shohamy E. & Walton, R. (eds.) Assessment for Feedback: Testing and other Strategies. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. Dubuque, IO.

41. Shohamy, E. 1993. “The Exercise of Power and Control in the Rhetorics of Testing”. Carleton Papers in Applied Language Studies, X, 48-63.

42. Shohamy, E. 1993 “The Power of Tests: The Impact of Language Tests on Teaching and Learning”. NFLC Occasional Papers, Washington DC.

43. Shohamy, E. 1993. “A Collaborative/Diagnostic Feedback Model for Testing Foreign Languages.” 185-202 in Douglas D. and Chappelle C. (eds.) A new Decade of Language Testing Research.Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 185-202.

44. Shohamy, E. 1994. “Issues of Language Planning in Israel: Language and Ideology”. 131-142 in Lambert, R. Language Planning Around the World: Contexts and Systemic Change. National Foreign Language Center. Washington DC .

45. Shohamy, E. 1994. “The Exercise of Power and Control in the Rhetorics of

Testing”. 23-38 in Sajaavara, K. (ed.) Language Testing: New Openings. Jyvaskyla University

46. Shohamy, E. 1994. “The use of language tests for power and control”. 57-72 in J. Alatis (ed.) Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.

47. Shohamy, E. 1994. “The Role of Language Tests in the Construction and Validation of Second Language Acquisition Theories”. 133-142 in Tarone, E., Gass, S. and Cohen A. (eds.) Research Methodology in Second Language Acquisition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Pubilshers. Hillsdale, New Jersey.

48. Shohamy, E. 1995. “Language Testing: Matching Assessment Procedures with

Language Knowledge”. 142-160 in Birenbaum M. & Dochy, F., (eds.) Alternatives in Assessment of Achievements, Learning Processes and Prior Knowledge. Kluwer Academic Publishing, Boston, MA..

49. Shohamy, E. 1996. “Competence and Performance in Language Testing”. 136-151 in Brown G. and Masmlijaer K. and K. Williams, (ed.) Performance and Competence in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge University Press.

50. Spolsky, B. and Shohamy, E. 1996. “Israel”. 55-60 in Peter Dickson, P. and Cummings, A. (eds.) Profiles of Language Education in 25 Countries: Overview of Phase 1 of the IEA Language Education Study, Slough: National Foundation for Educational Research.

51. Spolsky, B. and Shohamy, E. 1997. “Planning Foreign Language Education: An Israeli Perspective”.99-111in de Bot K. and Bongaerts, T. (eds.) Perspective on Foreign Language Policy: Studies Honour of Theo van Els. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

52. Shohamy, E. 1998. “Assessment in Early Age: Foreign Language Abilities of Early Language Learners”. 185-197 in M. Met (ed.) Critical issues in early second language learning.

53. Shohamy, E. 1998. “Evaluation of Learning Outcomes in Second Language Acquisition: A Multiplism Perspective”. 238-261 in Byrnes H. (ed.) Learning Foreign and Second Languages. MLA’s Teaching Languages, Literatures and Cultures series.

54. Shohamy, E. 1998. “Alternative Assessment in Language Testing: Applying a Multiplism Approach”. 99-114 in Li, E.S.L. and James G. (eds.) Testing and Evaluation in Second Language Education. Language Center. Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology, p. .

55. Shohamy, E. 1998. The Great Debate: TESOL is a Science, Not an Art. Journal of Imagination in Language Learning, vol. V. 8-26.

56. Shohamy, E. 1998. “How Can Language Testing and Second Language Acquisition Benefit from each other: The Case of Discourse “. 156-176 in Bachman, L. and Cohen, A. Interfaces between Second Language Acquisition and Language Testing Research

57. Shohamy, E. 1998. “Language tests as de facto educational and linguistic policies”. 23-42 in Berry, V. and McNeill A. (ed.) Policy and practice in language education. The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

58. Shohamy, E.1998. “Inside the “black box” of classroom language tests”. Studies Anglica Posnaniensia XXXIII, 343-352.(special issue in honor of Kari Sajaavara).

59. Spolsky, B. and Shohamy, E. 1999. “The dynamics of Israeli language policy”. Washington,DC: The National Foreign Language Center. John Hopkins University.

58. Shohamy, E. 1999. “Fairness in Language Testing” 85-89 in Kunnan, A. (ed.) Fairness and Validation in language Assessment. Cambridge University Press

60. Shohamy, E. 1999. “Language and Identity of Jews in Israel and in Diasopra”. 79-99 in D. Zisenwine and D. Sher (eds.) Studies in Jewish Culture: Identity and Language. School of Education, Tel Aviv University.

61. Shohamy E. and Spolsky, B. 1999. “An Emerging Language Policy fIsrael: From Monolingualism to Multlilingualism”?169-184 in Weber, Peter J. (Hg.) Contact + Conflict: Language planning and minorities. Plurinigua XXI.

62. Spolsky, B. and Shohamy, E. 2000. “Hebrew after a century of RLS activities”. In H. Fishman, ed., Reversing Language Shift II. .

63. Spolsky, B. and Shohamy, E. 2000 “Language policy”. In Lambert, R. and Shohamy, E. (eds.) Foreign Language Policy and Pedagogy, (in press).

64. Connor-Linton, J. and Shohamy, E, 2000. “Register Validation, Oral Proficiency, Sampling and the Promise of Multi Dimensional Analysis”. In Biber D. Variations in language. (in press)

65. Inbar, O., Donitsa-Schmidt, S and Shohamy, E., (2000). Students' Motivation as a Function of Language Learning: The Teaching of Arabic in Israel. In Z. Dornyei & R. Schmidt (Eds.) Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching & Curriculum Center.

66. Shohamy, E. 2001. “The responsibility of the language tester” in Cooper, R., Shohamy, E.and Walter, J. Papers in honor of Bernard Spolsky.

67. Shohamy, Elana 2001. The relevance of language testing to second language acquisition, 103-114. In Pürschel, Heiner & Ulrich Raatz (eds.) (2001) Tests and Translation: Papers in memory of Christine Klein-Braley, Bochum, AKS-Verlag

68. Shohamy, E. (in press).  Assessment in multicultural societies:  Applying democratic principles and practices to language testing.  In B. Norton & K. Toohey (eds), Critical pedagogues and language learning:  Global perspectives.  New York/London:  Cambridge University Press.



D. Other publications

1. Encyclopedia items

Shohamy, E. 1997. “Language Assessment”.141-152 in Richard Tucker and David Corson, (eds.) Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Volume 4, Kluwer Academic Publishers

Shohamy, E. 1999. “Impact (of language tests)”. In Spolsky, B. (ed.) The Concise Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Elsevier Science Limited.


2. Invited position paper

Shohamy, E. and Spolsky B. 1994. Position paper on language policy in Israel

Requested by the Israeli Minister of Education, Prof. Rubinstein (led to the introduction of a new language policy in the Israeli school systems).

Shohamy, E. 2000. Issues in Benchmarking. 4-9 in Issues in English Language Benchmarking

Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Shohamy, E. 2001. Inside the black box of classroom languag testing. English Teachers' Journal, No. 53, October, 54-60.


3. Reports (partial list since 1993)

Shohamy, E. and others. 1993. 1994. Evaluation of Intervention program of teaching English in disadvantaged areas of Tel Aviv and Jaffe. Report submitted to the Tel Aviv municipality.

Shohamy, E. and others. 1993, 1994, 1995. Evaluating teaching of English at an early age in the city of Tel Aviv. Three reports submitted to the Tel Aviv municipality.

Shohamy, E. and B. Spolsky and otherse, 1996. Language education in Israel. 5 reports on policy and practice of five languages taught in Israel. Bar Ilan and Tel Aviv University. Reports submitted to the Ministry of Education,

Spolsky, B, Shohamy, E., and others, 1997 Language education in Israel. 5 reports on policy and practice of language policy in Israel. Bar Ilan and Tel Aviv University. Reports submitted to the Ministry of Education,

Shohamy, E. and Donitsa-Schmidt, S. 1988. Jews vs. Arabs: Language Attitudes and Stereotypes. Reports submitted to the Shtainmintz center for peace. Tel Aviv University, 1998.

Shohamy E., Donitsa Schmidt, S. and others 1998. Language proficiency of immigrants at the work place. Report submitted to the Sapir center for research, Tel Aviv University. Summer, 1998.

Levin, T. Shohamy, E. Spolsky B. 2002. Academic achievement of immigrant children in Israel

Report submitted to the Ministry of Education

Ben Raphael, E. Shohamy, E. and Amara Muhammad. 2002. Linguistic landscape in Israel

(Reports submitted to the Shtainmintz center for peace. Tel Aviv Univer).


4. Handbook

Shohamy, E.,1985. A Practical Handbook for language testing for the foreign language teacher. Internal Press.


5. Newsletters

Spolsky, B. and Shohamy, E. 1998. Language policy in Israel. New Language Planning Newsletter 12 (4):1-4.


6. Invited plenary talks in major conferences (partial list since 1993)

1993, Finland – Conference on language testing

1993, Cambridge, Gillian – competence and performance in language testing

1995, Hong Kong - A multiplism approach to language assessment

(international conference on language testing and evaluation)

1996, Great Debate – Science or Art in language education, debate at the TESOL convention

March, 1997. Critical Language Testing and Beyond. Invited Plenary paper presented at the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Orlando, March, 1997.

May, 1997. The new language policy in Israel - from monolingualims to multilingualism? Brussels, conference on Contact and conflict.

November, 1997, Antwerpen The use of tests for power and control 1998, Power and control in language testing - International conference on language education, Hong Kong.

July, 1998. Carleton University. The social responsibility of the tester.

Summer, 1999. Keynote speech at the AILA convention, Tokyo, Japan, August 1999. Democratic and undemocratic practices of language testing.

April 2001. Keynote in a conference on multilingualism in Denmark

May 2001. Keynote in the conference on teacher language education, Minneapolis.

October 2000. Key note in the conference on multilingualism in the Basque country.



E. Research projects

1982 - 1985

Development and research of an alternative system for the

English Matriculation Examination (sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education)

1984 - 1986

Research and development of a new national battery for testing oral proficiency tests for English as a foreign language at the end of Israeli secondary schools

1984 - 1985

Development of a monitoring system for achievement of English as a foreign language for 7th and 10th grades for the city of Tel Aviv

1987 - 1991

Research, development and implementation of a diagnostic/feedback system for evaluating achievement in

Hebrew in Jewish Day schools in USA and Canada

1987 - 1988

Development and research of an oral test in L1 (Hebrew) as part of the matriculation examination (sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Israel)

1988 - 1989

Development of a semi-direct test for assessing Hebrew proficiency (sponsored by the Center of Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC)

1990 - 1992

Development and research of a battery of tests for assessing

Hebrew language of adult immigrants to Israel
(sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education)

1992 - 1994

Development of a battery of diagnostic tests for assessment of the acquisition of Hebrew of children immigrants in elementary and secondary schools (sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education)

1991 - 1992

Evaluation of an intervention program for the teaching of EFL in elementary schools in Jaffa (sponsored by the municipality of Tel Aviv)


Research following achievements in teaching English early age.

1994 - 1997

Language policy in Israeli schools (study leading to the creation of a new language policy in Israel (w/ Bernard Spolsky) funded by the Israeli Ministry of Education.


Profiles of Israeli language situation (project completed for the IEA international project)

1995 - 1996

Attitudes, stereotypes and priorities of Jews towards Arabic

and Arabs towards Hebrew (funded by the Steinmitz center).

1997 - 1998

Language proficiency of new immigrants at the workplace (supported by The Sapir Center, Tel Aviv University)

1998 - 1999

Evaluation of teaching of spoken Arabic in Tel Aviv schools

1998 - 2002

Academic achievements of immigrant children in schools in Israel (a national study supported by the Israeli Ministry of Education)

2000 - 2001

Linguistic landscape of Hebrew and Arabic in Jewish and Arab towns in Israel (supported by the Steiinmitz center for Peace.

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