• 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)
    • Aspects of fluency across assessed levels of speaking proficiency

      Tavakoli, Parveneh; Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Hunter, Ann-Marie (Wiley, 2020-01-25)
      Recent research in second language acquisition suggests that a number of speed, breakdown, repair and composite measures reliably assess fluency and predict proficiency. However, there is little research evidence to indicate which measures best characterize fluency at each assessed level of proficiency, and which can consistently distinguish one level from the next. This study investigated fluency in 32 speakers’ performing four tasks of the British Council’s Aptis Speaking test, which were awarded four different levels of proficiency (CEFR A2-C1). Using PRAAT, the performances were analysed for various aspects of utterance fluency across different levels of proficiency. The results suggest that speed and composite measures consistently distinguish fluency from the lowest to upper-intermediate levels (A2-B2), and many breakdown measures differentiate between the lowest level (A2) and the rest of the proficiency groups, with a few differentiating between lower (A2, B1) and higher levels (B2, C1). The varied use of repair measures at different levels suggest that a more complex process is at play. The findings imply that a detailed micro-analysis of fluency offers a more reliable understanding of the construct and its relationship with assessment of proficiency.
    • Assessing English on the global stage : the British Council and English language testing, 1941-2016

      Weir, Cyril J.; O'Sullivan, Barry (Equinox, 2017-07-06)
      This book tells the story of the British Council’s seventy-five year involvement in the field of English language testing. The first section of the book explores the role of the British Council in spreading British influence around the world through the export of British English language examinations and British expertise in language testing. Founded in 1934, the organisation formally entered the world of English language testing with the signing of an agreement with the University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES) in 1941. This agreement, which was to last until 1993, saw the British Council provide substantial English as a Foreign Language (EFL) expertise and technical and financial assistance to help UCLES develop their suite of English language tests. Perhaps the high points of this phase were the British Council inspired Cambridge Diploma of English Studies introduced in the 1940s and the central role played by the British Council in the conceptualisation and development of the highly innovative English Language Testing Service (ELTS) in the 1970s, the precursor to the present day International English Language Testing System (IELTS). British Council support for the development of indigenous national English language tests around the world over the last thirty years further enhanced the promotion of English and the creation of soft power for Britain. In the early 1990s the focus of the British Council changed from test development to delivery of British examinations through its global network. However, by the early years of the 21st century, the organisation was actively considering a return to test development, a strategy that was realised with the founding of the Assessment Research Group in early 2012. This was followed later that year by the introduction of the Aptis English language testing service; the first major test developed in-house for over thirty years. As well as setting the stage for the re-emergence of professional expertise in language testing within the organisation, these initiatives have resulted in a growing strategic influence for the organisation on assessment in English language education. This influence derives from a commitment to test localisation, the development and provision of flexible, accessible and affordable tests and an efficient delivery, marking and reporting system underpinned by an innovative socio-cognitive approach to language testing. This final period can be seen as a clear return by the British Council to using language testing as a tool for enhancing soft power for Britain: a return to the original raison d’etre of the organisation.
    • Assessing the portfolio principles for practice, theory and research

      Hamp-Lyons, Liz; Con, William (Hampton Press, 2000-01-01)
      This volume deals comprehensively and systematically with the subject of portfolio-based writing assessment. This single source fully explores the theory behind using portfolios in a writing program as well as information about what portfolios are, what advantages they hold for assessment purposes, and what effects they can have on a writing program. The book provides a more comprehensive look at what portfolio assessment has become and can become, focusing not on an individual program, but on the full spectrum of portfolio assessment as it has evolved so far.
    • Assessment for learning in language education

      Green, Anthony (Urmia University, 2018-10-01)
      This paper describes the growing interest in assessment for learning (AfL) approaches in language education. It explains the term, traces the origins of AfL in developments in general education and considers the evidence for its claimed impact on learning outcomes. The paper sets out some of the challenges involved in researching, implementing and evaluating AfL initiatives in the context of language teaching and learning and considers how this may impact on our field in the future.
    • 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)
    • Assessment of learning and assessment for learning

      Green, Anthony (TESOL International Association and Wiley, 2018-01-01)
    • Automated approaches to establishing context validity in reading tests

      Taylor, Lynda; Weir, Cyril J.; University of Bedfordshire (2012-06-03)
    • Believing in: a pragmatic account

      Žegarac, Vladimir (Elsevier, 2006-09-22)
      The gap between the linguistic meaning of an utterance and the proposition it expresses in a particular context is bridged by a pragmatic inferential process with free access to general world knowledge. Therefore, pragmatic theory should be able to characterize the inputs to this inference process in a way which provides the basis for explaining why a particular linguistic expression has some contextual interpretations to the exclusion of others. The main aim of this paper is to consider how Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson, 1986/1995) rises to this challenge in one particular case: utterances of sentences containing the phrase believe in. I try to show how the various interpretations of this expression follow from the interaction of its linguistic meaning with the Communicative Principle of Relevance, the context, and two general cognitive tendencies in context selection: the orientation towards positive outcomes and the orientation towards establishing cause-effect relations.
    • Book review: Understanding second language processing: focus on processability theory

      Chan, Sathena Hiu Chong (Elsevier, 2019-01-30)
      Review of Dyson, BP, Hakansson, G (2017) 'Book review: Understanding second language processing: focus on processability theory' John Benjamins 9789027243751
    • CEFR and ACTFL crosswalk: a text based approach

      Green, Anthony (Stauffenburg, 2012-01-01)
    • A cognitive pragmatic perspective on communication and culture

      Žegarac, Vladimir (De Gruyter Mouton, 2008-01-01)