• Book review: "Interaction in Paired Oral Proficience Assessment in Spanish by A.M. Ducasse".

      Inoue, Chihiro (Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand, 2015)
    • Cognitive processing and foreign language use

      Field, John (Routledge, 2014-12)
    • Examining the context and cognitive validity of the GEPT Advanced Writing Task 1: a comparison with real-life academic writing tasks

      Chan, Sathena Hiu Chong; Wu, Rachel Yi-Fen; Weir, Cyril J.; University of Bedfordshire (Language Training and Testing Center, 2014-04-01)
    • A multifaceted approach to investigating pre-task planning effects on paired oral test performance

      Nitta, Ryo; Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Nagoya Gakuin University; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2014-01)
      Despite the growing popularity of paired format speaking assessments, the effects of pre-task planning time on performance in these formats are not yet well understood. For example, some studies have revealed the benefits of planning but others have not. Using a multifaceted approach including analysis of the process of speaking performance, the aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of pre-task planning in a paired format. Data were collected from 32 students who carried out two decision-making tasks in pairs, under planned and unplanned conditions. The study used analyses of rating scores, discourse analytic measures, and conversation analysis (CA) of test-taker discourse to gain insight into co-constructing processes. A post-test questionnaire was also administered to understand the participants’ perceptions toward planned and unplanned interactions. The results from rating scores and discourse analytic measures revealed that planning had limited effect on performance, and analysis of the questionnaires did not indicate clear differences between the two conditions. CA, however, identified the possibility of a contrastive mode of discourse under the two planning conditions, raising concerns that planning might actually deprive test-takers of the chance to demonstrate their abilities to interact collaboratively.
    • A research report on the development of the Test of English for Academic Purposes (TEAP) speaking test for Japanese university entrants – study 3 & study 4

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Joyce, Daniel; Fouts, Todd; University of Bedfordshire; Eiken Foundation of Japan (Eiken Foundation of Japan, 2014)
    • Course handbook for promoting sustainable excellence in English language testing and assessment

      Green, Anthony; Westbrook, C.; Burenina, N.; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
    • Assessing health professionals

      Taylor, Lynda; Pill, John; University of Bedfordshire; University of Melbourne (Wiley, 2013-11)
      Language tests are used in the evaluation of migrating health professionals’ readiness to practise safely and effectively. Such assessment is complex, involving policy and practice alongside questions of a moral and ethical nature. The chapter focuses on English language assessment of doctors—referred to as international medical graduates (IMGs)—to exemplify issues arising for all health professionals in any language. The initial section describes differing approaches to language assessment used in various jurisdictions internationally: the UK, Australia, and the USA. The next section links this assessment policy and practice to theoretical insights and research findings. It considers the scope of language proficiency and of what is testable in specific purpose language (LSP) tests, and describes the increased recognition in health-care contexts of the importance of effective communication for patient safety and positive clinical outcomes. Studies of the development of language tests for health professionals are cited to highlight the importance of collaboration between domain experts and test designers regarding test content, task format, and rating criteria. There is only limited evidence that LSP tests are better predictors than general purpose language tests of test takers’ ability to perform in a particular context; however, it is similarly uncertain whether general purpose tests are sufficient for such sensitive contexts as those in health care. The following section presents challenges and issues for LSP assessment for health professionals from three theoretical perspectives: authenticity, specificity, and inseparability; it also considers practical and policy constraints. The final section indicates further directions for research and wider ethical issues inherent in the global migration of health professionals.
    • The London Association for the Teaching of English 1947–67: a history

      Gibbons, Simon (Trentham Books, 2013-10)
      This is the fascinating story of the birth, growth, and development of the London Association for the Teaching of English from its earliest years through to the formation of the National Association for the Teaching of English and thereafter. The work of founder members of LATE, such as James Britton, Harold Rosen, and Nancy Martin, was critical in the development of an English-teaching pedagogy that still influences the work of teachers across many parts of the world today. As a critical account of the rise of a progressive model of English, this book is essential reading for all those involved in the teaching and research of the subject, from prospective and new entrants to the profession to experienced teachers and researchers of English. With its first hand testimony and unpublished archive material, this book will also be of interest to students and researchers in the field of the history of education, and to those concerned with effective models for professional development.
    • The cognitive processing of candidates during reading tests: evidence from eye-tracking

      Bax, Stephen; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2013-10)
      The research described in this article investigates test takers’ cognitive processing while completing onscreen IELTS (International English Language Testing System) reading test items. The research aims, among other things, to contribute to our ability to evaluate the cognitive validity of reading test items (Glaser, 1991; Field, in press). The project focused on differences in reading behaviours of successful and unsuccessful candidates while completing IELTS test items. A group of Malaysian undergraduates (n = 71) took an onscreen test consisting of two IELTS reading passages with 11 test items. Eye movements of a random sample of these participants (n = 38) were tracked. Stimulated recall interview data was collected to assist in interpretation of the eye-tracking data. Findings demonstrated significant differences between successful and unsuccessful test takers on a number of dimensions, including their ability to read expeditiously (Khalifa & Weir, 2009), and their focus on particular aspects of the test items and texts, while no observable difference was noted in other items. This offers new insights into the cognitive processes of candidates during reading tests. Findings will be of value to examination boards preparing reading tests, to teachers and learners, and also to researchers interested in the cognitive processes of readers.
    • Researching intertextual reading

      Bax, Stephen; University of Bedfordshire (Peter Lang, 2013-07)
    • Communicating the theory, practice and principles of language testing to test stakeholders: some reflections

      Taylor, Lynda; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2013-07)
      The 33rd Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), held in June 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, included a conference symposium on the topic of assessment literacy. This event brought together a group of four presenters from different parts of the world, each of whom reported on their recent research in this area. Presentations were followed by a discussant slot that highlighted some thematic threads from across the papers and raised various questions for the professional language testing community to consider together. One point upon which there was general consensus during the discussion was the need for more research to be undertaken and published in this complex and challenging area. It is particularly encouraging, therefore, to see a coherent set of studies on assessment literacy brought together in this special issue of Language Testing and it will undoubtedly make an important contribution to the steadily growing body of literature on this topic, particularly as it concerns the testing of languages. This brief commentary revisits some of the themes originally raised during the LTRC 2011 symposium, considers how these have been explored or developed through the papers in this special issue and reflects on some future directions for our thinking and activity in this important area.
    • Introduction

      Taylor, Lynda (Cambridge University Press, 2013-05)
    • Examining the criterion-related validity of the GEPT advanced reading and writing tests: comparing GEPT with IELTS and real-life academic performance.

      Weir, Cyril J.; Chan, Sathena Hiu Chong; Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo (Language Training and Testing Center, 2013-03)
    • Measured constructs: a history of Cambridge English language examinations 1913 - 2012

      Weir, Cyril J. (Cambridge ESOL, 2013-02)
      In recent years assessment issues have assumed increased importance in the economic, educational and socio-political affairs of society. Spolsky (2008:297) argues that ‘testing has become big business’, and Shohamy (2008:xiv) points to ‘the societal role that language tests perform, the power that they hold, and their central functions in education, politics and society’. A significant role for testing language proficiency can be seen inter alia in migration and citizenship policy and practice, the professional registration of those involved in the provision of health care, appointment and promotion in business, industry and commerce, the certification of air traffic and maritime personnel, and entry to tertiary level education. Such uses testify to the critical function that language assessment now fulfils in contemporary society.
    • Examining listening: research and practice in assessing second language listening

      Geranpayeh, Ardeshir; Taylor, Lynda (Cambridge University Press, 2013)