2017 Language Testing Research Colloquium
LTRC staff and associates participated in the 2017 Language Testing Research Colloquium, the conference of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) held at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia from July 17-21.
Reflections on the conference
The conference theme, ‘Language Assessment Literacy Across Stakeholder Boundaries’ was particularly apt given that this was the first time ILTA’s annual conference has been held in South America, a context without a strong tradition in language testing and about which we have much to learn. It was exciting to hear about local assessment and evaluation issues from local participants and in particular from two invited speakers from Colombian Universities, Ana María Velásquez who spoke about the role of language learning and assessment in peace building and María Lucia Casas Pardo who spoke about using formative assessment to add value in teacher education.
Two of the 172 conference attendees, former LTRC Directors Cathie Elder and Tim McNamara took part in the opening symposium, aimed at characterizing what it means to be literate in language assessment and how literacy needs might vary for different audiences, including teachers, students and policy makers. Current director Ute Knoch also reported on behalf of Melbourne colleagues on a recently completed research project funded by the Australian Research Council and Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, which drew insights from health professionals as part of a process to develop a more appropriate rating scale for assessing workplace writing skills.
LTRC associate Kathryn Hill gave a paper with Ana-Maria Ducasse on the contextual variables governing written assessment feedback in a university level Spanish program. Professor Jin Yan and Dr. Jason Fan, recent visitors to the LTRC, spoke about the importance of understanding the language assessment literacy profiles of different stakeholders in China.