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Call for Proposals: 2018 Language Assessment Research Conference
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 Export to Your Calendar 7/24/2017 to 9/15/2017
When: Monday, July 24, 2017
Where: Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 
United States

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Language Assessment Research Conference (LARC)

March 21-23, 2018

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa


Validation research in language assessment:

Contributions from methods in applied linguistics


Abstracts due September 15, 2017


Iowa State University is pleased to announce that it will host the 2018 Language Assessment Research Conference (LARC). This conference will take place March 21-23, 2018, in Ames, Iowa. LARC is being held in an effort to fill the growing need for a language assessment conference that is accessible to researchers in North America.

LARC 2018 will provide a forum for concentrated discussion of applied linguistics methods used in validation studies for language assessments to support a range of claims about the validity of test score interpretations, uses, and consequences. Research methods in applied linguistics appear to be increasingly useful in language testing research because of the need to investigate new types of language tests for an expanded set of purposes delivered by ever-changing technologies. Some methods of interest in validation studies are response process analysis, such as eye-tracking, conversation analysis, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, language-focused ethnography, critical inquiry into policy issues, differential item functioning, factor analysis, generalizability theory, Many-facet Rasch Measurement, and structural equation modeling.

The conference opening address will be given by:

Carol A. Chapelle, Distinguished Professor

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University

The conference will also feature plenary talks by:

Alister Cumming, Professor Emeritus

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education


Dorry M. Kenyon, Vice President, Director of Assessment

Center for Applied Linguistics


Tim McNamara, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor

School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne

President, American Association for Applied Linguistics


LARC invites presentations reporting validation studies as well as papers that explore issues in language assessment and raise new questions by expanding the analytic perspectives used in research. Testing contexts of interest include all levels of educational testing as well as language testing conducted by governments and in the private sector. We are particularly interested in sessions proposing theoretical and empirical presentations addressing such issues as the following:

Theoretical rationales and empirical evidence that help to define oral and written communication for language testing in the digital age
Approaches for maximizing the complementary contributions of human evaluators and computer-assisted analysis of language performance in learning and assessment
Security issues associated with the use of technology for test administration, data gathering, and storage of information
Screen capture and eye-tracking technologies used to help explain the constructs underlying test performance and/or performance in other language use situations
Qualitative studies of electronic communication in the wild that inform construct definitions for language tests
Quantitative studies of language test performances that provide evidence about constructs underlying test performance.
Corpus-based studies of particular registers of language use that help delimit the scope for extrapolation of test scores and that problematize the construct of general language ability
Computer-assisted research on second language pronunciation and intelligibility with implications for testing oral communication
Implications of machine learning methods of text classification for assessment of language performance.
Connections between language assessment and the evaluation of learning in technology-rich environments
Issues in gathering , combining and interpreting multiple sources of data in a validity argument


Conference organizing committee

Gary Ockey, Iowa State University (Co-Chair)

Carol Chapelle, Iowa State University (Co-Chair)

Liying Cheng, Queen’s University

Troy Cox, Brigham Young University

Jee Wha Dakin, ETS

Okim Kang, Northern Arizona University

Meg Malone, Georgetown University, ACTFL

Lia Plakans, University of Iowa

Masanori Suzuki, Pearson



Local Organizers (Iowa State University graduate students)

Rosalie (Roz) Hirch (Chair)

Nazlinur Gokturk

Hyunwoo Kim

Ananda Muhammad

Phuong Nguyen

Liberato Santos

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