Pre-workshop of the 3rd International Conference on Language Testing and Assessment and the 5th British Council New Directions in Language Assessment Conference


Topic 1: Designing and evaluating listening assessment tasks: Principles and practice

Date: 1 December 2017

Venue: Shanghai Jiaotong University (Xuhui campus) 

Topic 1: Designing and evaluating listening assessment tasks: Principles and practice

Luke Harding 
Lancaster University

Jinsong (Jason) Fan
Fudan University

This workshop will provide an introduction to the principles and practice of listening assessment, with a focus on task development. The workshop will begin with a discussion of participants' contexts and their current listening assessment practices. Following this, we will discuss the theoretical side of listening assessment design, including important principles in listening assessment, and different definitions of the listening construct found in the research literature. The workshop will then turn to the practical side of task design, covering (1) how to source or create listening texts, (2) which task-types work for listening (and which are more problematic), and (3) what recent research says about common design questions (e.g., whether to play the text once or twice). Participants will then be given the opportunity to work with a set of specifications to develop their own listening task, which will be presented and moderated by other workshop participants. Finally, we will demonstrate with authentic data from a local English listening test how Rasch measurement theory can be utilized to examine the quality of test items and by extension, the validity of a listening test.

Speakers’ Bio-statement

Luke Harding is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University. His research interests are mainly in language assessment. He has published in the areas of listening assessment, pronunciation assessment, language assessment literacy, diagnostic language assessment, and the challenge of English as a Lingua Franca for language assessment. Luke’s work has appeared in Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching. He is the author of a book: Accent and Listening Assessment (2011), and is currently the co-editor of the journal Language Testing.

Dr. Jinsong (Jason) Fan is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Language Testing Centre at College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Fudan University, China. He obtained his Ph.D. from a joint program between Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Warwick in 2011. His research interests are language test validation, research methodology, and statistical analysis (e.g., structural equation modeling, Rasch measurement theory).

Dr. Fan has chaired or co-chaired several important research projects in language testing and assessment, including one funded by China’s National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science (NPOPSS) to develop a set of professional standards for large-scale English language testing in China. At Fudan University, Dr. Fan and his team are in charge of developing and validating a high-stakes university-based English exit test with an annual test candidature of around 5,000. He currently serves on the nominating committee of the Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA), and is the co-author of a forthcoming book Ensuring fairness in language assessment: The role of measurement (with Professor Tim McNamara and Dr. Ute Knoch).

Topic 2: Language Assessment Literacy Animated

Topic 2: Language Assessment Literacy Animated

  • Assessing Speaking
  • Assessing Writing 

Gordon Allan
British Council Japan

Assessment literacy is increasingly recognised as a key skill for teachers and others in education throughout the world. These workshops demonstrate an interactive approach to exploring practical issues in assessment, using video, discussion and worked examples to foster understanding of the assessment of speaking and writing. The aim is to help teachers make informed decisions about appropriate assessments for their students.

Speakers’ Bio-statement

Gordon Allan has been working for British Council Japan since 2003, and has extensive experience teaching junior high school and university classes. He now works in teacher training, helping to plan and deliver the Leaders of English Education Project (LEEP), a cascade training programme for teachers of English at elementary, junior high and high school level. Gordon is CELTA and DELTA qualified, and has recently submitted his dissertation for an MA in Language Testing with Lancaster University. 

Please click the link below to see the skeleton agenda of the conference.