Jones, Caroline and Campbell, Joy, 2008, Issues in the assessment of children's oral skills, in J. Simpson & G. Wigglesworth (eds.), Children's language and multilingualism: Indigenous language use at home and school, London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 175-193.
Appropriately designed assessments of children's oral skills in Indigenous languages have the potential to support effective school- and community-based Indigenous language programmes by guiding programme implementation and evaluation. There is little published research, however, on valid and practical assessment strategies in language revival or revitalisation contexts. This chapter presents an overview of selected oral language assessment strategies which are good candidates for use in language revival and revitalisation contexts, explains the rationale for these paradigms, and discusses their use from the perspective of issues that arise in revival and revitalisation contexts and in Australian Aboriginal language contexts in particular. The chapter argues that in particular, assessment of receptive language skills can offer a relatively accurate and worthwhile picture of children's current knowledge of a language. The discussion is informed by our experience trialling some receptive language testing in an Aboriginal language revitalisation context in the central Northern Territory, Australia.