LTEST-L, Language Testing Research and Practice, started in the 1980s as a small group who kept in touch with each other by the earliest forms of e-mail. It became a discussion list around 1986 and is, therefore, one of the oldest continuously running e-discussions on the Internet. It has been housed by Pennsylvania State University (PSU) since 1997 as a service to the field and has over 1400 subscribers all over the world.
Today LTEST-L continues to be scrupulously non-commercial, soberly focused, gregariously lighthearted, self-disciplined, self-perpetuating, unsponsored and unmoderated/uncensored.
The early group initiated the on-going series of annual Language Testing Research Colloquiums (LTRC). Later, the list was the virtual forum where the founding of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) was extensively, sometimes heatedly, discussed and it was again the open forum where proposals for and drafts of the ILTA's Code of Ethics were mulled over.
The conversations continue on a wide range of topics related to language testing research and practice. Many subscribers' interests focus on English; none the less, an important and growing minority focuses on other languages as well or instead.
English is the list's lingua franca; however, all subscribers want to communicate and do not judge others' language abilities at all. Comments or questions do not have to be sophisticated or clever; beginners are never rebuffed. A response is very likely if a message is brief and shows honest, mature interest in the field.
LTEST-L is exclusively for non-commercial use. Messages can be sent to the list only by subscribers; likewise, only subscribers are admitted to the archives. LTEST-L is unmoderated. Anyone can subscribe, change their own subscription or visit the archives by simply going to http://lists.psu.edu/archives/ltest-l.html .
[This text was kindly supplied by Harold Ormsby, the LTEST-L list manager]