Pre-conference Workshops

 

We are pleased to announce that the 9th EALTA conference will offer three pre-conference workshops. The workshops will start on Tuesday, May 29th lunchtime and end on Thursday May 31st lunchtime.

The application deadline for all workshops is March 5th, 2012. The application forms can be found below under the information about the workshops.

The fee for each 2-day-workshop is 50 EUR. Please do not pay before you have received notification of acceptance.

Workshop 1:

Diagnosing Reading / Writing

J. Charles Alderson (Lancaster University)
Ari Huhta (University of Jyväskylä)

This workshop addresses the need for a better understanding of, and research into, the diagnosis of second and foreign language abilities. Day one will focus on research into the diagnosis of writing, as written performances can be rated, studied, analysed, and strengths and weaknesses identified. Day two will turn to research into the diagnosis of reading, which presents different challenges for the diagnostician.

The number of participants is limited to 20, and participants are expected to attend both days of the workshop, as the results of the first day will feed into the discussions on the second day. Applicants complete an application form (see below) detailing their experience and current involvement in test development and research in general (for example, second language acquisition research), as well as any past or current involvement in research into diagnostic assessment.

Diagnosing writing: Successful applicants will be required to send sample copies, in advance of the workshop, of the performances in writing of learners, from an English writing test they have administered. They should bring with them electronic copies of all the writing performances from the English test (as Word and/or text files - exact file format(s) will be specified later). They can also bring electronic copies of written performances in any other language they work with. We will demonstrate and carry out analyses with English scripts but participants can explore the applicability of some of the tools for the analysis of writing performances in other languages, too.

Diagnosing reading: Successful applicants will be required to send copies, in advance of the workshop, of learners’ performances in reading from a test they have administered. They will also be asked to administer a test, which we will provide, of reading in English. Participants will be provided with an Excel template into which the test data should be entered in advance of the workshop, and the Excel file should be brought to the workshop, along with copies of their own reading test.

Participants will be asked to bring their own laptop computers (PCs only, no Macs) to the workshop to facilitate analyses.

Please download the application form here and send it to the email addresses indicated in the form by March 5th, 2012.

Workshop 2:

Assessing Writing: Principles, Practice and Performance

Sara Cushing Weigle (Georgia State University)
Lynda Taylor (CRELLA, University of Bedfordshire)

The assessment of student writing is an essential task for language teachers, and yet many teacher training programs do not require students to take a course in assessment or evaluation, and courses on teaching writing often devote only a limited amount of time to the discussion of assessment. Furthermore, teachers frequently need to prepare their students for externally mandated large-scale writing assessments, and thus they need to have an understanding of the uses and misuses of such tests.

In this workshop we will explore the essential considerations in classroom and large-scale writing assessments. Topics to be discussed include defining the writing construct, designing tasks for writing assessment, developing scoring rubrics, the computer scoring of writing, and portfolio assessment. We shall also consider the sorts of evidence needed to support claims about the quality of writing tests and explore some of the methodologies that allow such evidence to be assembled.

The number of workshop participants is limited to 30 and participants are expected to attend both days of the workshop.

Please download the application form here and send it to the email address indicated in the form by March 5th, 2012.

Workshop 3: CANCELLED

Relating classroom assessment and examining to the CEFR - the ECML support to language educators

Waldemar Martyniuk (Director, European Centre for Modern Languages)
José Noijons (RelEx project, European Centre for Modern Languages)

The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) is a Council of Europe institution based in Graz, Austria. In cooperation with the Language Policy Unit of the Council, the Centre functions as a catalyst for reform in the teaching and learning of languages. It assists its stakeholders in member states in bringing language education policies and practices together. Within a networking structure, comprised of leading specialists of the expert community, the ECML operates 4-year programmes focusing on key educational issues requiring action.

In this workshop we will focus on some of the ECML projects that have developed instruments to relate classroom teaching and testing to the CEFR. Such instruments include a grid to help teachers link their classroom activities to the CEFR; a manual how to link the language skills taught with those needed in studies and later in working life; another manual to link classroom tests and examinations to the CEFR; a guide and kit reflecting on the multidimensionality of assessment, learning and teaching in line with the CEFR; and materials that have adapted the CEFR to be used with lower secondary school pupils.

Participants will be supplied with specimens of the above materials and will take an active a part in carrying out tasks to be found in these documents. The number of workshop participants is limited to 40 and participants are expected to attend both days of the workshop.

 

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