Editor’s note: The content below is being shared from the website of ILTA – The International Language Testing Association, which offers annually its Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC). The theme of next year’s LTRC is “Language Assessment in Times of Movement, Transition, and Change.” The colloquium will be held from July 2 to 6, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Dynamism and mobility are characteristics of many phenomena associated with modern life. Language testing and assessment practices are subject to contradictory pressures to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and to maintain stability over time. From ‘macro’ concerns such as policy reform and migration flow, to ‘micro’ developments such as a rise in test fees, a change in cut-score, or the introduction of a new form of classroom assessment, the tension between change and continuity is ever present.
As always, we welcome proposals on the full range of research topics within the field, but for this LTRC we particularly encourage participants to share knowledge and experience of the pressures on language assessment practice as they manifest themselves in specific local circumstances, as well as in more global trends and developments. Proposals are invited that address work on language assessment in the following broad thematic divisions:
Movement – As a result of migration, displacement in conflict situations, and international travel, people are moving to new jurisdictions and education systems in extraordinary numbers. This creates a demand for language tests as gatekeeping devices and a need for new approaches to assessment to evaluate the educational achievement of more diverse populations of learners. Proposals addressing movement may consider particular tests or the broader policy issues which arise in national contexts.
Transition – Language assessments tend to cluster at entrance and exit points in education systems and societies. Students progress from one level of education to the next; people make the transition into the workforce or into a particular profession. Exit points often imply readiness for a further transition. Proposals addressing transition may consider the design of assessment at transition points or they may focus on the contexts of transition: target domains, notions of ‘readiness’ for entrance or exit, and institutional or community needs.
Change – Language assessment is integrally involved in changes in language learning and development. In this process, there are multiple agents, such as teachers, learners, schools, and parents, with vital interests in monitoring or perhaps resisting change. Proposals addressing change may consider the effects of innovations in educational technology, curriculum design, and assessment frameworks, either in individual classrooms or at a broader institutional level.
Click here to visit the LTRC 2018 landing page and to learn more about next year’s colloquium. The call for proposals deadline is set for November 10, 2017 at 11:59pm New Zealand Summer Time.