• Academic speaking: does the construct exist, and if so, how do we test it?

      Inoue, Chihiro; Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Lam, Daniel M. K.; Taylor, Lynda; University of Bedfordshire (2018-03-14)
    • Accuracy across proficiency levels: A learner corpus approach. Jennifer Thewissen. Presses Universitaires de Louvain, Lougain-la-Neuve, Belgium (2015). 342pp.

      Inoue, Chihiro; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2017-09-04)
      A review of the book based on Thewissen’s PhD thesis, which used the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE) (Granger et al., 2009) for two main purposes. The first purpose was to capture the development of linguistic accuracy of the argumentative essays written by learners of English at intermediate to advanced levels, namely B1 to C2 in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) (Council of Europe, 2001). The second purpose was to create a set of L1-specific CEFR descriptors related to the linguistic accuracy by building on the results from the essays written by learners who have French as their L1.  
    • An application of AUA to examining the potential washback of a new test of English for university entrance

      Nakamura, Keita; Green, Anthony; Eiken Foundation of Japan; University of Bedfordshire (2013-11-17)
    • Applying the socio-cognitive framework: gathering validity evidence during the development of a speaking test

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Dunlea, Jamie; University of Bedfordshire; British Council (UCLES/Cambridge University Press, 2020-06-18)
      This chapter describes how Weir’s (2005; further elaborated in Taylor (Ed) 2011) socio-cognitive framework for validating speaking tests guided two a priori validation studies of the speaking component of the Test of English for Academic Purposes (TEAP) in Japan. In this chapter, we particularly reflect upon the academic achievements of Professor Cyril J Weir, in terms of: • the effectiveness and value of the socio-cognitive framework underpinning the development of the TEAP Speaking Test while gathering empirical evidence of the construct underlying a speaking test for the target context • his contribution to developing early career researchers and extending language testing expertise in the TEAP development team.
    • Are current academic reading tests fit for purpose?

      Weir, Cyril J.; Chan, Sathena Hiu Chong; University of Bedfordshire (2018-03-14)
    • Assessment literacy in practice

      Green, Anthony; University of Bedfordshire (2013-11-01)
    • Assessment of candidates' interactional competence using group oral tests

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; University of Bedfordshire (2013-05-19)
    • Automated approaches to establishing context validity in reading tests

      Taylor, Lynda; Weir, Cyril J.; University of Bedfordshire (2012-06-03)
    • Cognitive validity

      Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2012-03-15)
    • Cognitive validity in language testing: theory and practice

      Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2012-07-05)
    • Cognitive validity in the testing of speaking

      Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2013-11-17)
    • Communication and core conditions in rapport building: a case study

      Zegarac, Vladimir; Bhatti, Joanna; Caley, Joy; University of Bedfordshire; English Language Centre, York (Brill Academic Publishers, 2015-01-01)
      The main aim of this article is to show how difficulties in communication across cultural boundaries can be addressed effectively by taking account of the complex interplay between individual, culture-specific and universal aspects of social interaction. The article considers an unconventional, creative and effective approach to dealing with a critical incident situation that arose in an intercultural efl classroom. The description and analysis of the problem situation draw on Carl Rogers' (see Kirschenbaum and Henderson, 1989) core conditions for facilitative educational practice and the key concepts of Relevance-Theoretic pragmatics (Sperber and Wilson, 1986, 1995), showing how the mechanisms of communication can be used in building positive rapport between the interactants as whole integrated individuals.
    • A comparative study of the variables used to measure syntactic complexity and accuracy in task-based research

      Inoue, Chihiro; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles, 2016-04-12)
      The constructs of complexity, accuracy and fluency (CAF) have been used extensively to investigate learner performance on second language tasks. However, a serious concern is that the variables used to measure these constructs are sometimes used conventionally without any empirical justification. It is crucial for researchers to understand how results might be different depending on which measurements are used, and accordingly, choose the most appropriate variables for their research aims. The first strand of this article examines the variables conventionally used to measure syntactic complexity in order to identify which may be the best indicators of different proficiency levels, following suggestions by Norris and Ortega. The second strand compares the three variables used to measure accuracy in order to identify which one is most valid. The data analysed were spoken performances by 64 Japanese EFL students on two picture-based narrative tasks, which were rated at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) A2 to B2 according to Rasch-adjusted ratings by seven human judges. The tasks performed were very similar, but had different degrees of what Loschky and Bley-Vroman term ‘task-essentialness’ for subordinate clauses. It was found that the variables used to measure syntactic complexity yielded results that were not consistent with suggestions by Norris and Ortega. The variable found to be the most valid for measuring accuracy was errors per 100 words. Analysis of transcripts revealed that results were strongly influenced by the differing degrees of task-essentialness for subordination between the two tasks, as well as the spread of errors across different units of analysis. This implies that the characteristics of test tasks need to be carefully scrutinised, followed by careful piloting, in order to ensure greater validity and reliability in task-based research.
    • Comparing writing proficiency assessments used in professional medical registration: a methodology to inform policy and practice

      Chan, Sathena Hiu Chong; Taylor, Lynda; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2020-10-13)
      Internationally trained doctors wishing to register and practise in an English-speaking country typically have to demonstrate that they can communicate effectively in English, including writing proficiency. Various English language proficiency (ELP) tests are available worldwide and are used for such licensing purposes. This means that medical registration bodies face the question of which test(s) will meet their needs, ideally reflecting the demands of their professional environment. This article reports a mixed-methods study to survey the policy and practice of health-care registration organisations in the UK and worldwide. The study aimed to identify ELP tests that were, or could be, considered as suitable for medical registration purposes and to understand the differences between them. The paper discusses what the study revealed about the function and comparability of different writing tests used in professional registration as well as the complex criteria a professional body may prioritise when selecting a test. Although the original study was completed in 2015, the paper takes account of subsequent changes in policy and practice. It offers a practical methodology and worked example which may be of interest and value to other researchers, language testers and policymakers as they face challenges in selecting and making comparisons across tests.
    • Computer delivered listening tests: a sad necessity or an opportunity?

      Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2017-07-06)
    • Conceptualizing mindfulness-mindlessness in intercultural interaction

      Žegarac, Vladimir; Spencer-Oatey, Helen; Ushioda, Ema; University of Bedfordshire; University of Warwick (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2014-01-01)
      The concept of 'mindfulness' is increasingly used in the intercultural literature and yet so far it is largely just a heterogeneous construct with underspecified theoretical content. In this paper we draw on multidisciplinary perspectives to address this shortcoming and develop an integrated analysis of this important construct. We relate 'mindfulness' explicitly to the Relevance-theoretic concept of “manifestness”, and we incorporate insights from the psychology of motivation. We use extracts of authentic intercultural interactions to help explain and illustrate our arguments.
    • Contriving authentic interaction: task implementation and engagement in school-based speaking assessment in Hong Kong

      Lam, Daniel M. K.; Yu, Guoxing; Jin, Yan; University of Bedfordshire; University of Bristol; Shanghai Jiaotong University (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-01-01)
      This chapter examines the validity of the Group Interaction task in a school-based speaking assessment in Hong Kong from the perspectives of task implementation and authenticity of engagement. The new format is intended to offer a more valid assessment than the external examination by eliciting ‘authentic oral language use’ (HKEAA, 2009, p.7) in ‘low-stress conditions’ (p.3), and emphasizes the importance of flexibility and sensitivity to students’ needs in its implementation. Such a policy has then been translated into diverse assessment practices, with considerable variation in the amount of preparation time given to students. The present study draws on three types of data, namely 1) students’ discourse in the assessed interactions, 2) stimulated recall with students and teachers, and 3) a mock assessment, where the group interaction task, the preparation time, and the post-interview were all video-recorded. Results show that while the test discourse exhibits some features that ostensibly suggest authentic interaction, a closer examination of students’ pre-task planning activities reveals the contrived and pre-scripted nature of the interaction. Implications for the assessment of students’ interactional competence and recommendations for task implementation are discussed.
    • CRELLA and the socio-cognitive approach to test validation

      Chan, Sathena Hiu Chong; University of Bedfordshire (2013-10-31)