The aim of the summer school is to address theoretical and practical underpinnings of assessing speaking and writing.

The course will cover the following topic areas:
  • The similarities and differences between speaking and writing
  • The constructs of speaking and writing
  • Task characteristics that contribute to task difficulty in speaking and writing
  • Task development in speaking and writing
  • Rating criteria and rating scale design in speaking and writing
  • Rater training and standardisation in speaking and writing
  • The role of the interlocutor in speaking tests

The course will comprise a mixture of lectures (with discussion) and practical work. Participants will be split into two groups for workshops in order to ensure that: a) opportunities for personal attention are maximised, and b) every participant has the opportunity to work in both areas, speaking and writing. The practical work will be tailored to the specific interests of the participants (e.g. young learners, primary school, university/tertiary).

The target audience is graduate students, per- and in-service language teachers and teacher trainers, administrators and school programme planners who are responsible for language assessment. An international audience is welcome and encouraged. The number of participants is limited to 40.

The summer school will be held at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. It will be five days long, starting on Monday, 18 July at 11:00 and ending on Friday, 22 July at 13:30 (following a farewell lunch). Apart from the opening and closing days, the activities will run from 9:00 – 17:00 each day. Monday, the session will end at 17.30. Two social events are planned: a welcome reception on Monday, 18 July and an optional half-day outing on Friday, 22 July. The detailed programme and timetable will be finalised and sent to participants at least one month before the start of the workshop. Participants will be asked to bring their own laptops.

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