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Edited by:
Glenn Fulcher
(University of Leicester, UK)
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The Biannual Language Testing Podcast
     
 
Language Testing Bytes is a biannual podcast produced for SAGE publications to accompany the journal Language testing. In the podcast I discuss issues raised in the journal with authors and key figures in the field. You can download a podcast for your iPod or other device by right clicking on the download icon, or you can play a podcast directly from this page. Also available on iTunes.
Current Issue

    Cathie Elder on LSP Testing and the OET

or   




  Previous Issues     Current Journal Content  





2016 Onwards


    


2010 - 2015


Issue 22: Eunice Jang on Diagnostic Language Testing.

Issue 32(2) of the Language Testing is a special on the current state of Diagnostic Language Testing. While this has traditionally been a neglected use of language tests, there is currently a great surge of interest and research in the field. Eunice Jang from the University of Toronto joins me to discuss current thinking in testing for diagnostic purposes.

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 Diagnostic Language Testing

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Issue 21: Hyejeong Kim on Aviation English.

The assessment of aviation English has become something of an icon of high stakes assessment in recent years. In Language Testing 32(2), we publish a paper by Hyejeong Kim and Cathie Elder, both from the University of Melbourne, which examines the construct of aviation English from the perspective of airline professionals in Korea.

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 Assessing Aviation English

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Issue 20: Martin East on Assessment Reform.

In this issue of the podcast Martin East describes an assessment reform project in New Zealand. We're reminded very forcefully that when assessment and testing procedures within educational systems are changed, there are many complex factors to take into account. All stakeholders are going to take a view on the proposed reforms, and they aren't necessarily going to agree.

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 Assessment Reform

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Issue 19: Fred Davidson and Cary Lin of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discuss the role of statistics in language testing.

The last issue of volume 31 contains a review of Rita Green's new book on statistics in language testing. We take the opportunity to talk about how things have changed in teaching statistics for students of language testing since Fred Davidson's The language tester's statistical toolbox was published in 2000.

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 Statistics in Language Testing

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Issue 18: Folkert Kuiken and Ineke Vedder from the University of Amsterdam discuss rater variability in the assessment of speaking and writing in a second language.

The third issue of the journal this year is a special on the scoring of performance tests. In this podcast the guest editors talk about some of the issues surrounding the rating of speaking and writing samples.

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 Rating Performance Assessments

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Issue 17: Ryo Nitta and Fumiyo Nakatsuhara on pre-task planning in paired speaking tests

The authors of our first paper in 31(2) are concerned with a very practical question. What is the effect of giving test-takers planning time prior to a paired-format speaking task? Does it affect what they say? Does it change the scores they get? The answers will inform the design of speaking tests not only in high stakes assessment contexts, but probably in classrooms as well.

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 Pre-task planning in paired speaking tests

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Issue 16: Jodi Tommerdahl and Cynthia Kilpatrick on the reliability of morphological analyses in language samples

How large a language sample do we need in order to draw reliable conclusions about what we wish to assess? In issue 31(1) of Language Testing we are delighted to publish a paper by Jodi Tommerdahl and Cynthia Kilpatrick that addresses this important issue.

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 The Reliability of Morphological Analyses in Language Samples

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Issue 15: Stephen Bax on Eye Tracking Studies

Issue 30(4) of the journal contains the first paper on eye-tracking studies to investigate the cognitive processes of learners taking reading tests. Stephen Bax joins us to explain the methodology and what it can tell us about how successful readers go about processing items and texts in reading tests.

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 Eye Tracking Studies

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Issue 14: Ofra Inbar on Assessment Literacy

Issue 30(3) commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the journal. We mark this milestone in the journal's history with a special issue on the topic of Assessment Literacy, guest edited by Ofra Inbar. A concern for the literacy needs of a wide range of stakeholders who use tests and test scores beyond the experts is a sign of a maturing profession. This issue takes the debate forward in new and exciting ways, some of which Ofra Inbar discusses on this podcast.

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 Assessment Literacy

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Issue 13: Paula Winke and Susan Gass on Rater Bias

Rater bias is something that language testers have known about for a long time, and have tried to control through training and the use of rating scales. But investigations into the source and nature of bias is relatively recent. In issue 30(2) of the journal Paula Winke, Susan Gass, and Caroly Myford share their research in this field, and the first two authors from Michigan State University join us on Language Testing Bytes to discuss rater bias.

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 Rater Bias

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Issue 12: Alan Davies on Assessing Academic English

In 2008 Alan Davies' book Assessing Academic English was published by Cambridge University Press. In issue 30(1) of Language Testing it is reviewed by Christine Coombe. With a strong historical narrative, the book raises many of the enduring issues in assessing English for study in English medium institutions. In this podcast we explore some of these with Professor Davies.

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 Assessing Academic English

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Issue 11: Ana Pellicer-Sanchez and Norbert Schmitt on Yes-No Vocabulary Tests

In this issue of the podcast we return to vocabulary testing, after the great introduction provided by John Read in Issue 5. This time, we welcome Ana Pellicer-Sanchez and Norbert Schmitt, to talk about the popular Yes-No Vocabuluary Test. Their recent research looks at scoring issues and potential solutions to problems that have plagued the test for years. Their paper in issue 29(4) of the journal contains the details, but in the podcast we discuss the key issues for vocabulary assessment.

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 Yes-No Vocabulary Tests

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Issue 10: Kathryn Hill on Classroom Based Assessment

Classroom Based Assessment is an increasingly important topic in language education, and in issue 29(3) of Language Testing we publish a paper by Kathryn Hill and Tim McNamara entitled "Developing a comprehensive, empirically based research framework for classroom-based assessment". The research in this paper is based on the first author's PhD dissertation, and so we asked Kathryn Hill to join us on Language Testing Bytes to talk about developments in the field.

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 Classroom Based Assessment

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Issue 9: Luke Harding on Accent in Listening Assessment

Issue 29(2) of the journal contains a paper entitled "Accent, listening assessment and the potential for a shared-L1 advantage: A DIF perspective", by Luke Harding. In this podcast we explore why it is that most listening tests use a very narrow range of standard accents, rather than the many varieties that we are likely to encounter in real-world communication.

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 Accents in Listening Assessment

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Issue 8: Tan Jin and Barley Mak on Confidence Scoring

In Issue 29(1) of the journal three authors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have a paper on the application of fuzzy logic to scoring speaking tests. This is termed 'confidence scoring', and the first two authors join us on Language Testing Bytes to explain a little more about their novel approach.

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 Confidence Scoring

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Issue 7: Mark Wilson on Measurement Models

Mark Wilson delivered the Messick Memorial Lecture at the Language Testing Research Colloquium in Melbourne, 2006, on new developments in measurement models to take into account the complexity of language testing. In Language Testing 28(4) we publish the paper based on this lecture, and Mark joins us on Language Testing Bytes to talk about his work in this area.

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 Measurement Models

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Issue 6: Craig Deville and Micheline Chalhoub-Deville on Standards-Based Testing

Standards-Based Testing is highly controversial for its social and educational impact on schools and bilingual communities, and the technical aspects that rely to a significant extent on expert judgment. In issue 28(3) we discuss the issues surrounding Standards-Based Testing in the United States with the guest editors of a special issue on this topic. The collection of papers that they have brought together, along with reviews of recent books on the topic, and test review, constitute a state of the art volume for the field.

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 Standards-Based Testing

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Issue 5: John Read on Vocabulary

The journal has seen a flurry of articles on vocabulary testing in recent months, and issue 28(2) is no exception, with Marta Fairclough's paper on the lexical recognition task. It seemed like an appropriate moment to conisder why vocabulary is receiving so much attention, and so we turned to Professor John Read of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, to give us an overview of current research and activity within the field.

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 John Read on Vocabulary

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Issue 4: Khaled Barkaoui and Melissa Bowles on Think Aloud Protocols

In Language Testing 28(1), 2011, Khaled Barkaoui has an article on the use of think-alouds to investigate rater processes and decisions as they rate essay samples. The focus is not on the raters, but on whether the research method is a useful tool for the purpose. In this podcast he explains his findings, and their importance. We are then joined by Melissa Bowles who has recently published The Think-Aloud Controversy in Second Language Research, to explain precisely what the problems and possibilities of think-alouds are in language testing research.

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 Khaled Barkaoui and Melissa Bowles on Think Aloud Protocols

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Issue 3: Jim Purpura on Grammar

Language Testing 27(4), 2010, contains an article by Carol Chapelle and colleagues on testing productive grammatical ability. We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to look at what is going on in the field of assessing grammar, and what issues currently face the field. Jim Purpura agreed to talk to us on Language Testing Bytes.

 Jim Purpura on Testing Grammar

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Issue 2: Xiaoming Xi on Automated Scoring

Language Testing 27(3), 2010, is a special issue guest edited by Xiaoming Xi on the automated scoring of writing and speaking tests. In this podcast she talks about why the automated scoring of speaking and writing tests is such a hot topic, and explains the possibilities, limitations and current research issues in the field.

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 Xiaoming Xi on Automated Scoring

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Issue 1: Mike Kane on Validation

In Language Testing 27(2), 2010, Mike Kane contributed a response to an article on fairness in language testing. We thought this was an excellent opportunity to ask him about his approach to validation, and how he sees 'fairness' fitting into the picture.

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 Mike Kane on Validation

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Validity theory: Reform policies, accountability testing, and consequences
by Chalhoub-Deville, M.

Educational policies such as Race to the Top in the USA affirm a central role for testing systems in government-driven reform efforts. Such reform policies are often referred to as the global educa...

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Validity of the American Sign Language Discrimination Test
by Bochner, J. H., Samar, V. J., Hauser, P. C., Garrison, W. M., Searls, J. M., Sanders, C. A.

American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the most commonly taught languages in North America. Yet, few assessment instruments for ASL proficiency have been developed, none of which have adequately de...

(show all)

Elicited imitation as a measure of second language proficiency: A narrative review and meta-analysis
by Yan, X., Maeda, Y., Lv, J., Ginther, A.

Elicited imitation (EI) has been widely used to examine second language (L2) proficiency and development and was an especially popular method in the 1970s and early 1980s. However, as the field emb...

(show all)

Fitting the mixed Rasch model to a reading comprehension test: Exploring individual difference profiles in L2 reading
by Aryadoust, V., Zhang, L.

The present study used the mixed Rasch model (MRM) to identify subgroups of readers within a sample of students taking an EFL reading comprehension test. Six hundred and two (602) Chinese college s...

(show all)

Comparing C-tests and Yes/No vocabulary size tests as predictors of receptive language skills
by Harsch, C., Hartig, J.

Placement and screening tests serve important functions, not only with regard to placing learners at appropriate levels of language courses but also with a view to maximizing the effectiveness of a...

(show all)

Differential and long-term language impact on math
by Chen, F., Chalhoub-Deville, M.

Literature provides consistent evidence that there is a strong relationship between language proficiency and math achievement. However, research results show conflicts supporting either an increasi...

(show all)

Assessing L2 Students with Learning and Other Disabilities
by Lange, R.

Assessing Second Language Pragmatics
by Willcox, E. F.