• Investigating learners' cognitive processes during a computer-based CAE Reading test

      Bax, Stephen; Weir, Cyril J.; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge ESOL, 2012-02)
      This study investigates the cognitive processes employed by participants on a computer-based CAE Reading test, with a view to assessing the cognitive validity of the Reading test items. It takes as its starting point the cognitive processing approach with its set of cognitive processes described by Khalifa and Weir (2009 Chapter 3). In addition it draws on the methods for investigating those processes adopted in Weir, Hawkey, Green and Devi’s study of academic reading in the UK (2009), and complements and extends them using onscreen recording and eye-tracking technology, as well as developing other aspects of the methodology. The central question was to what extent the test items elicited the range and level of cognitive processes expected of an advanced Reading test which seeks to emulate real-world academic reading processes.
    • 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.