XUN YAN (UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN)

TOWARDS A CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT LITERACY DEVELOPMENT ACROSS STAKEHOLDERS AND CONTEXTS : LANGUAGE TESTING AND ASSESSMENT

The past decades saw an expanding conceptualization of language assessment literacy (LAL) in two directions, namely, what LAL constitutes and how LAL develops. Language testing scholars have voiced on the question of what, shifting the construct of LAL from a narrow set of measurement knowledge and skills to a co-constructed process through which assessment practices are understood and enhanced through the mediation of historical, social, cultural, political and philosophical factors (Davies, 2008; Inbar-Lourie, 2008; Fulcher, 2012; Taylor, 2013; Xu & Brown, 2016; Baker & Riches, 2018). In comparison, more work and conversations are needed to postulate how LAL develops across stakeholders and assessment contexts. This presentation attempts to delineate a conceptual model of LAL development. The presentation starts with a narrative synthesis of current conceptual frameworks of LAL, to depict the current views on LAL development. Based on these views, a conceptual model of LAL development will be proposed. To explicate this model, I will draw empirical evidence from four studies where I have examined the developmental patterns of LAL in different assessment practice contexts (testing research, item writing, scale development, classroom assessment, and formal assessment training and courses) and for different stakeholder groups (language testers, item writers, in- and pre-service language teachers). I argue that although LAL might constitute different practical meanings for different stakeholders, the ways in which LAL develops and materializes share more similarities than differences. The development process of LAL can be characterized by constant iterations of three key steps, namely, apprenticeship, collaboration, and reflection. As novice assessment practitioners undergo these iterative steps, their assessment practices develop through the mediation of a range of contextual and experiential factors. In return, LAL developed through such a social and co-constructed process influences the practitioners’ assessment experiences and gradually shapes the assessment context to foster continued LAL development.

Xun Yan is an assistant professor of Linguistics and Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His specialization is language testing and assessment. Some of his work can be found in Language Testing, Assessing Writing, TESOL Quarterly, Journal of Second Language Writing, System, and Asian-Pacific Education Researchers.