News

 

08.11.2019

LTRGI member passes viva

LTRGI is very excited to share the news that our team member Franz Holzknecht successfully defended his PhD thesis on "Double play in listening assessment" at Lancaster University yesterday. Congratulations to Franz and his supervisor Dr Luke Harding on this great achievement! 

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12.04.2019

LTRGI hosts BritInn Fellow Prof Judit Kormos

Professor Judit Kormos (Lancaster University, UK) visited LTRGI this week. She spent an entire week (April 8-12) with LTRGI as a BritInn Visiting Fellow to work on current and future collaborations with the group members, particularly relating to projects on language assessment accommodations for learners with specific learning differences. Her guest talk on "The role of cognitive factors in learning additional languages: How research findings can assist teachers?" was well-attended and instigated a lively discussion among the audience. A detailed report about the BritInn visit is available here. We are grateful to the BritInn scheme for making this fruitful visit possible. 

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 16.03.2019

LTRGI presenting at three major conferences in US 

LTRGI members Kathrin Eberharter and Benjamin Kremmel presented their work at LTRC 2019 (Language Testing Research Colloquium), the AAAL (American Association of Applied Linguistics) conference, and the TESOL convention, all held in Atlanta this year. Between them, they gave seven presentations on projects and topics ranging from language assessment literacy, rating processes in speaking assessment, to language learning with neurdegenerative diseases. The presentations were well-received by the variety of stakeholder groups in the audiences and showcased the breadth and depth of high-quality research that is being conducted at LTRGI.

 LTRC19_kathrin aaal19_kathrin

 28.02.2019

LTRGI member's publication shortlisted for ILTA Best Article Award

Benjamin Kremmel's article "Exploring the Role of Phraseological Knowledge in Foreign Language Reading", co-authored with Tineke Brunfaut and J. Charles Alderson (Lancaster University, UK) was shortlisted for the ILTA Best Article Award 2017. The paper was published in Applied Linguistics in 2016 and can be downloaded open-access here.  The award is given annually for the article that makes a significant contribution to the field of language testing. The deserved winner of this year's award was Plakans, L. & Gebril, A. (2017). Exploring the relationship of organization and connection with scores in integrated writing assessment. Assessing Writing, 31: 98–112. Being among the handful of shortlisted publications for this highly-competitive and prestigious award is testimony to the high-quality research that is being carried out at LTRGI. Congratulations!

 

 01.02.2019

LTRGI receives funding from Cambridge Assessment English 

LTRGI was successful in securing a research grant from Cambridge Assessment English's Funded Research Program (Round 9) to investigate the cognitive validity of the Linguaskill Writing component.  The research project of their winning proposal focusses on the cognitive validity of the computer-based tasks of the Linguaskill Writing component in relation to test taker characteristics. In particular, it will investigate the cognitive processes engaged by a mixed-proficiency sample of L2 learners when responding to the Linguaskill tasks, and in how far they resemble a full model of the L2 writing process. In addition, it aims to uncover the links between computer writing behaviour (i.e. fluency, pausing and revision behaviours of candidates) and the outcome of the L2 writing process. The study will do so by triangulating data from eye-movement analysis, keystroke logging, and stimulated recalls. We are excited that our proposal has been selected for fudning and to be working with Cambridge Assessment English on this project. 

 

 

29.08.2018

LTRGI now represented on editorial boards of two major language assessment journals

LTRGI member Benjamin Kremmel was recently invited to serve on the editorial board of Language Assessment Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal (2017 5-year-IF: 1.398) "dedicated to the advancement of theory, research, and practice in first, second, and foreign language assessment for school, college, and university students; for employment; and for immigration and citizenship". After joining the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Language Testing (2017 5-year-IF: 1.431) in January 2018, this means that Benjamin is now representing LTRGI on the editorial boards of the two major language assessment journals. Congratulations!

 

08.06.2018

Symposium in honour of Dr Carol Spöttl: Reforming the Austrian Matura - 10 years on

LTRGI and the Department for Subject-Specific Education hosted a symposium on June 8, 2019, to mark the retirement of Dr Carol Spöttl and honour her outstanding achievements regarding the reform of the Austrian school-leaving exam. Many national and international colleagues came to celebrate the extraordinary academic legacy of Carol, one of which is LTRGI. Tineke Brunfaut (Lancaster University, UK), Claudia Harsch (University of Bremen, GER), and John de Jong (VU Amsterdam, NED) gave plenary talks on the theme of the event. A detailed report of the event can be found here [German only]. 

 

03.06.2018

Carol Spöttl receives International Assessment Award

LTRGI is incredibly proud and happy to announce that Dr Carol Spöttl, intiator and former head of our Language Testing Research Group, is the deserved recipient of the 2018 British Council International Assessment Award. The award was presented to Carol at the most recent EALTA conference in Bochum. It is awarded annually to an "individual working for the promotion of excellence in language assessment on the international stage" to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of language testing through their career. 

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28.05.2018

LTRGI members present their work at EALTA 2018

LTRGI showed a strong presence at the EALTA conference this weekend held in Bochum, Germany. 220 international scholars had gathered to present and discuss papers on the theme of "Technology-Based Language Assessment: Benefits and Challenges". LTRGI demonstrated that it is at the forefront of state-of-the-art developments and research trends in language testing and assessment by delivering a remarkable seven paper and poster presentations at the event on a wide range of areas and projects that its members are involved in. To find out more about the LTRGI papers presented, go to our Presentations page. 

ealta18_franz3  ealta2018_matthias 

 ealta18_kathrin

 

03.05.2018

LTRGI hosts international guests

Two internationally renowned researchers visited LTRGI over the past weeks. Dr Luke Harding (Lancaster University, UK) spent an entire week (April 16-20) with LTRGI as a BritInn Visiting Fellow to work on current and future collaborations with the group members, particularly relating to projects on language assessment literacy. His guest talk on "Language testing at the border: Examining ‘secure English language testing’ policy in the United Kingdom" instigated a lively discussion among the audience. A detailed report about the BritInn visit will be available shortly. We are grateful to the BritInn scheme for making this fruitful visit possible. 

On April 24, Prof. Dr. Tobias Haug (Interkantonale Hochschule für Heilpädagogik Zürich, CH) gave a talk on automated sign language recognition systems and sign language assessment. The talk was interpreted in sign language and attracted a very interested audience. We would like to thank the University of Innsbruck for making the talk accessible to a wide audience by funding the costs of the sign language interpreter. After the talk, our group was able to discuss ongoing and potential future projects with Prof. Haug. 

LTRGI is very happy to be able to consolidate and extend its international research networks through visits of such esteemed international scholars. 

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18.04.2018

Publications update

LTRGI is happy to announce the publication of another peer-reviewed journal article by one of its members. The article entitled "Comparing the outcomes of two different approaches to CEFR-based rating of students' writing performances across two European countries" was co-authored by Franz Holzknecht (LTRGI), Ari Huhta (University of Jyväskylä) and Iasonas Lamprianou (University of Cyprus) and was published in the journal Assessing Writing. Go to our "Publications" page for further updates on forthcoming publications by LTRGI members. 

Assessing_writing

08.03.2018

Update on benchmarked performances now online

LTRGI is happy to announce that further benchmarked performances have been uploaded to our website. Head over to our Projects page to find ratings and justifications for speaking and writing performances across the two major school types (AHS and BHS).

Projects_Website

19.02.2018

LTRGI hosts successful first EALTA Winter School      

From January 06-10, 2018, the Language Testing Research Group hosted the first ever Winter School of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) at the University Center Obergurgl. 42 participants from all over the world were trained in all matters related to vocabulary assessment by four internationally renowned experts.  The materials of the workshops can be found on the EALTA website. A report about the week will be available shortly. 

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13.12.2017

LTRGI Graduations        

LTRGI is very excited to announce and celebrate the graduation of two team members. Carol Spöttl was awarded her PhD in Applied Linguistics and Matthias Zehentner was awarded his MA in Language Testing today. Both completed their degrees at Lancaster University, UK. Congratulations!

graduationAlso in the picture:  Lancaster faculty Dr Luke Harding and Dr Tineke Brunfaut, as well as our former SRP team colleague Dr Doris Frötscher. 

 

 10.10.2017

LTRGI member called to serve on editorial board of refereed journal

LTRGI member Benjamin Kremmel has been invited to serve on the editorial board of ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics, a refereed journal published by John Benjamins devoted to studies in the field of language acquisition in a multilingual society. The journal is particularly interested in manuscripts reporting on studies that apply a multidisciplinary approach to research on second/foreign language acquisition of any language, mother tongue education, educational linguistics, computer-assisted language learning, classroom-based research, language policy, and language assessment. Benjamin will join the board as of the fall issue of 2017.

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 29.07.2017

LTRGI at LTRC 2017

Kathrin Eberharter and Benjamin Kremmel represented LTRGI at the 39th Language Testing Research Colloquium 2017 in Bogotá, Colombia. Together, they presented four LTRGI papers at the conference themed "Language Assessment Literacy across Stakeholder Boundaries". It was a particular honor for them to be part of the opening symposium of the conference that featured Cathie Elder (University of Melbourne), Meg Malone (Georgetown University), Dina Tsagari (University of Cyprus), Tim McNamara (University of Melbourne), and Micheline Chalhoub-Deville (University of North Carolina Greensboro) as the other speakers and allowed them to present the paper "Putting language into language assessment literacy" co-authored with Luke Harding (Lancaster University). To find out about the other LTRGI papers presented, go to our Presentations page. 

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02.07.2017

1st EALTA Winter School 2018 hosted by LTRGI - Registration now open!

LTRGI is proud to announce that we will be hosting the first EALTA Winter School in 2018. The event will take place at the University Center Obergurgl near Innsbruck from Jan 6-10, 2018, and will be themed "Assessing Vocabulary in/for/through the Language Skills". The aim of the Winter School is to address theoretical and practical underpinnings of assessing vocabulary and its relation to the language skills. The course tutors will be Tineke Brunfaut (Lancaster University), Diane Schmitt (Nottingham Trent University), Norbert Schmitt (University of Nottingham), and Benjamin Kremmel (University of Innsbruck). The target audience are graduate students, pre- and in-service language teachers and teacher trainers, test developers and researchers, school program planners and other interested stakeholders involved in matters related to vocabulary assessment. There will also be plenty of time in the schedule to enjoy the surroundings of Obergurgl. We are looking forward to welcoming an international audience. Find more information about the Winter School and register for the event here

 

01.06.2017

LTRGI at EALTA 2017

Three members (Kathrin Eberharter, Benjamin Kremmel and Matthias Zehentner) represented LTRGI at the 2017 Annual Conference of EALTA in Sèvres, France, where the CIEP (Centre international d'études pédagogiques) hosted a fantastic and thought-provoking conference on "Language testing and assessment: Its role in mobility and social integration". Benjamin Kremmel co-facilitated one of the pre-conference events with Claudia Harsch (Uni Bremen) and Steffen Brandt (KIRON) to kick-off a project developing a multilingual C-Test battery for charitable use. LTRGI also used the EALTA AGM to announce another exciting testing event coming to Innsbruck in January 2018. 


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20.05.2017

LTRGI research presented at symposium of Austrian Society for Language Teaching

LTRGI was well-represented at the 10-year symposium of the Austrian Society for Language Teaching (ÖGSD) at the University of Vienna on May 19, 2017. Kathrin Eberharter, Franz Holzknecht, Benjamin Kremmel, and Matthias Zehentner successfully presented three posters that showcased the high-quality research projects taking place in our group. Go to our "Presentations" page to find out more. 

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14.03.2017

Publications update

LTRGI is happy to announce the publication of a peer-reviewed report. The paper entitled "Looking into listening: Using eye-tracking to establish the cognitive validity of the Aptis Listening Test" was co-authored by Franz Holzknecht and Kathrin Eberharter (joint first authors), Benjamin Kremmel, Matthias Zehentner (all LTRGI), Gareth McCray (Keele University, UK), Eva Konrad and Carol Spöttl (LTRGI) and was published online as part of the British Council's Assessment Research Grants Reports. Go to our "Publications" page for further updates on forthcoming publications by LTRGI members. 

30.01.2017

LTRGI member receives funding from EALTA to hold workshop series

LTRGI member Benjamin Kremmel has secured financial support from EALTA to hold a series of workshops in Lithuania. In a competitive bid, the EALTA executive committee chose the proposal for a series of workshops to improve classroom-based language assessment of foreign languages in lower secondary schools in Lithuania jointly submitted by Benjamin Kremmel (LTRGI), Monique Yoder (LCC Klaipeda) and Laura Vilkaitė (University of Vilnius) as one of four recipients for EALTA event funding in 2017. The workshop series in scheduled to take place in four cities in the Baltic state in November this year. 


09.01.2017

Writing retreat

LTRGI has kicked off the new year with a two-day writing retreat. Go to our "Publications" page for updates on forthcoming publications by LTRGI members. 

                    Literature_retreat1_Jan2017 Literature_retreat_Jan2017

 

12.12.2016

Publications update

LTRGI is happy to announce the publication of two more peer-reviewed journal articles by one of its members. Benjamin Kremmel's article "Word families and frequency bands in vocabulary tests: challenging conventions" was recently published in the Research issues section of TESOL Quarterly. Another article entitled "Interpreting vocabulary test scores: What do various item formats tell us about learners’ ability to employ words?" was co-authored by Benjamin Kremmel and Norbert Schmitt from the University of Nottingham, UK, and was published in the latest issue of Language Assessment Quarterly. Go to our "Publications" page for further updates on forthcoming publications by LTRGI members. 

 

30.11.2016

LTRGI member nominated for teaching award

Benjamin Kremmel has won a nomination for the Lehre Plus! Teaching Award 2016 of the University of Innsbruck. The award is presented every two years to honour "excellent and innovative university teaching". Benjamin was nominated by the School of Education's Dean of Studies for his course "Vocabulary: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment" and his initiative to involve undergraduate students in research, which has already resulted in a publication. A report of the award ceremony can be found here (German only). 

 

20.11.2016

LTRGI receives training from British Council

British_Council

Last week, Judith Fairbairn from the British Council APTIS research team visited the LTRGI in Innsbruck. The team used the days with Judith for professional development and rater training sessions, but also for discussions about ongoing and future research projects. We'd like to thank Judith for very insightful sessions and a valuable learning experience and look forward to future collaborations.

 

01.09.2016

EALTA Summer School a big success for the LTRGI 

EALTA_SS_02   EALTA_SS_01

From July 18-22, 2016, the Language Testing Research Group hosted the fourth Summer School of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA). 40 participants from all over the world were trained in all matters related to the assessment of the productive skills by four internationally renowned experts.  The materials of the workshops can be found on the EALTA website here. A report about the week can be accessed here (available only in German).

 

15.06.2016

TOEFL® Grant for LTRGI researcher

Benjamin Kremmel was awarded one of ten TOEFL® Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment. The grant will support his PhD research project at the University of Nottingham, UK, which looks into the development and validation of a computer-adaptive diagnostic vocabulary test. The grant (2,000 USD) is awarded every year by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to "promising doctoral students working in the area of foreign or second language assessment" to "help them finish their dissertations in a timely manner". Benjamin's PhD project was selected as one of only 10 awardees for the year 2015. Find out more about the grant here

 

01.06.2015

Publications update

LTRGI is happy to announce the publication of another peer-reviewed journal article by three of its members. The article entitled "Evaluating the achievements and challenges in reforming a national language exam: The reform team’s perspective" was co-authored by Carol Spöttl, Benjamin Kremmel, Franz Holzknecht (LTRGI) and J. Charles Alderson from Lancaster University, UK and was published online in a special issue of the journal Papers in Language Testing and Assessment. Go to our "Publications" page for further updates on forthcoming publications by LTRGI members. 

 

03.05.2016

Strong presence of LTRGI research at EALTA 2016 conference in Valencia

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The program of the annual conference of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) in Valencia, Spain, featured a total of four paper presentations and one poster presentation by LTRGI researchers. Find out more about the conference here.

 

21.04.2016

LTRGI member wins Assessment Research Award

Benjamin Kremmel was awarded an APTIS Assessment Research Award to support his PhD research project at the University of Nottingham, UK. The APTIS Assessment Research Awards (£2,500) are sponsored annually by the British Council "to assist doctoral level research students (Ph.D/Ed.D.) in their data collection and/or analysis activities or in presenting their work at an international conference". Benjamin's PhD project of developing and validating a computer-adaptive diagnostic vocabulary test was selected as one of six awardees from a competitive international field of applicants. Find out more about the grant here

 

11.03.2016

LTRGI to host EALTA Summer School - Registration now open!

The 4th EALTA Summer School will be held at the University of Innsbruck from July 18-22, 2016. Organized by the LTRGI, the summer school aims to bring together graduate students, pre- and in-service language teachers and teacher trainers, administrators and school programme planners who are responsible for language assessment, to discuss the theoretical and practical underpinnings of assessing the productive skills. Details on the programme and the international trainers can be found here. To apply for a place in the EALTA summer school click here

 

30.12.2015

Publications update

LTRGI is happy to announce the publication of another peer-reviewed journal article by one of its members. The article entitled "Exploring the role of phraseological knowledge in foreign language reading" was co-authored by Benjamin Kremmel (LTRGI) and Tineke Brunfaut and J. Charles Alderson from Lancaster University, UK and was published Open Access in the journal Applied Linguistics. Go to our "Publications" page for further updates on forthcoming publications by LTRGI members.


23.12.2015

Congratulations to Mag. Matthias Zehentner and Mag. Michael Maurer, MA

The Language Testing Research Group is happy to congratulate team members Matthias Zehentner on the completion of his Mag. phil. degree at the University of Innsbruck and Michael Maurer on his completion of an MA degree in Language Testing at Lancaster University, UK.


17.12.2015

LTRGI contributes to European project on expansion of CEFR

LTRGI Mitarbeit an GERS Projekt

The Language Testing Research Group has recently completed a series of three workshops to contribute to the validation of new descriptors on "mediation" for the Common European Framework of References (CEFR). The collaborative project involved more than 130 institutions across Europe and was headed by Dr Brian North and the Council of Europe's Language Policy Unit. The LTRGI is proud to have played a role in this prestigious project of updating one of the most important documents on language policy, teaching and assessment currently in use.

Read full report in German here.

 



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