Trends in Language Assessment Research and Practice: The View from the Middle East and the Pacific Rim
Despite prodigious developments in the field of language assessment in the Middle East and the Pacific Rim, research and practice in these areas have been underrepresented in mainstream literature. This volume takes a fresh look at language assessment in these regions, and provides a unique overview of contemporary language assessment research. In compiling this book, the editors have tapped into the knowledge of language and educational assessment experts whose diversity of perspectives and experience has enriched the focus and scope of language and educational assessment in general, and the present volume in particular. The six ‘trends’ addressed in the 26 chapters that comprise this title consider such contemporary topics as data mining, in-class assessment, and washback. The contributors explore new approaches and techniques in language assessment including advances resulting from multidisciplinary collaboration with researchers in computer science, genetics, and neuroscience. The current trends and promising new directions identified in this volume and the research reported here suggest that researchers across the Middle East and the Pacific Rim are playing—and will continue to play—an important role in advancing the quality, utility, and fairness of language testing and assessment practices.
Vahid Aryadoust is Lecturer at the Centre for English Language Communication (CELC) of the National University of Singapore. He teaches academic writing and oral communication skills to science students and serves as the co-chair of the assessment committee at CELC. His research focuses on the application of structural equation modelling, data mining, latent trait/class models, and chaos and complexity in pedagogy and assessment. He has been a frequent presenter at international conferences and has actively published papers in educational assessment journals. He was also awarded Spaan Research Grants in 2009 and 2013 by Cambridge-Michigan Language Assessments.
Janna Fox is Associate Professor and Director of the Language Assessment and Testing Research Unit within the School of Linguistics and Language Studies, Carleton University, Canada, where she teaches courses on research methods, language testing, and curriculum. Her research addresses questions arising from the interplay of language teaching, assessment, curriculum, and policy. She is currently co-authoring a book with Liying Cheng on assessment for language teachers for the Palgrave Macmillan series Applied Linguistics for the Language Classroom, and was a founding member of the Canadian Association of Language Assessment/ Association canadienne pour l'évaluation des langues (CALA/ACEL). She serves on the Board of Paragon Testing Inc., Vancouver, Canada.
"[T]he editors, Aryadoust and Fox, are to be commended for this ambitious project. Graduate students, researchers, and others curious about language assessment will enjoy this book for its variety and stimulation. The collection highlights trends in the field, especially research towards a deeper understanding of the construct of language proficiency, and the use of MFRM and other sophisticated tools of analysis in language assessment studies. It indicates the growing number of subfields in language assessment and the knowledge of specialists in these subfields. Perhaps it is now becoming difficult for language testers to keep abreast of developments across the whole field. This book, therefore, shows how far we have come, but also how far there is still yet to go, towards understanding many of the current concerns in language assessment research."
John Pill American University of Beirut Language Testing 1-3 (2017)
A. Mehdi Riazi
Janet von Randow
Nick Zhiwei Bi
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