Foundations in language testing and assessment (25 May 07)

Date: 25 May, 2007
Location: University of Leicester
Event type: Workshop

Location map | Programme

University of Leicester

This is a one-day workshop organised by the School of Education, University of Leicester and the Subject Centre which introduces the main concepts in language testing and assessment.

The workshop will focus on a range of assessment issues including validity, reliability, the role of self and peer assessment, the assessment of speaking and practical ways of using external standards and frameworks.


Dr Glenn Fulcher

Dr Julie Norton

Mr Wasyl Cajkler

Workshop fee

Please note there is no charge for this event but we reserve the right to charge a £20.00 non-attendance fee.

Travel bursary

A travel bursary is available for this event. Closing date for applications is: 11 May 2007.

Provisional programme for 25 May 2007
Time Session
09.00 - 09.30 Registration and coffee
09.30 - 11.00 Concepts
11.00 - 11.15 Coffee
11.15 - 12.35 Assessments
12.35 - 13.45 Lunch
13.45 - 15.15 Discourses
15.15 - 15.30 Coffee
15.30 - 17.00 Frameworks




An introduction to the main concepts in language testing and assessment in which participants will discuss validity, reliability, and the purposes for which we assess. Participants will develop an understanding of how key concepts might impact on their assessment work, particularly with reference to the definition of what is to be assessed, and how it is described.


Effective formative assessment helps students to develop sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic competences, and acquire cultural knowledge that enhances communication. This session explores the relationship between teaching and learning, including the role of self- and peer-assessment within the learning environment.


Speaking is often the most valued skill that a second language learner can develop, and evaluating this ability is frequently considered to be difficult because of the fleeting nature of spoken communication. This session considers communicative approaches to assessing speaking, focusing on task types, the learner discourse that they elicit, and cultural issues in topic selection.


Language professionals are increasingly being asked to align teaching and assessment practices with external standards or frameworks. Examples of these are the Common European Framework of Reference, and the Canadian Language Benchmarks. In this session we will look at the promises and pitfalls of alignment to frameworks, and practical ways of using statements in frameworks as ways of generating tasks for assessment purposes.