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Theme: Language Assessment Literacy Across Stakeholder Boundaries (pdf here)

The call for papers closed on Sunday, October 9th, 2016, 11:59 p.m. EDT.

A review of the 38-year history of LTRC suggests that the field of language assessment has experienced great changes. Early colloquia were held in English-speaking locations and focused on concerns relating to English. During the past 20 years, however, we have seen seven colloquia in locations where English is not the primary language, as well as an increase in presentations on the assessment of languages other than English.

LTRC 2017 marks a milestone for our assessment community as we will meet for the first time in Latin America. LTRC 2017’s venue reminds us of the tremendous growth our field has experienced, in part from engaging with language testers in different contexts across a variety of language testing issues. Accordingly, as we explore different stakeholder territories, the theme of language assessment literacy (LAL) seems appropriate as we strive to build understanding among different stakeholders in an effort to learn from their perspectives and to generate new knowledge in LAL research.

LAL (Fulcher, 2012; Malone, 2013; Inbar-Lourie, 2008; 2013; Taylor, 2009; 2013) draws on the area of educational assessment literacy in general (Stiggins, 1991; 1997; Deluca & Klinger, 2010; Willis, Adie & Klenowski, 2013) and can be defined as the competence required in language assessment by various stakeholder groups, ranging from developers of an assessment, to assessment candidates, users of the results of assessment, and the public. LAL has been variously discussed as a knowledge-based, skills-based, or competency-based construct—or some combination of the three. Fulcher’s (2012) definition of LAL included skills, knowledge and abilities, awareness of the theoretical basis for assessment, and awareness of “the role and impact of testing on society, institutions and individuals” (p. 125).

In the 2013 special issue of Language Testing dedicated to LAL, Taylor (2013) presented a model for LAL where needs are differentiated according to the requirements of various stakeholder groups—including those considered experts in language assessment. Taylor identifies eight areas of literacy: knowledge of theory; technical skills; principles and concepts; language pedagogy; sociocultural values; local practices; personal beliefs/ attitudes; scores and decision making. This model of legitimized differentiated literacy reminds us of the imperative to resist deficit, binary models of LAL—where certain “illiterate” groups gain literacy from the “literate” experts. Instead, LAL can be interpreted as a dynamic process of competency development in which we are all engaged.

Therefore, while all proposals will be considered for LTRC 2017, preference will be given to proposals which highlight understandings of and tensions between the different skills, knowledge, and competencies of language assessment literacy as they interact with different assessment stakeholders—including the specialists themselves—in the ecologies of their particular contexts. Examples include, but are not restricted to:

  • language assessment research as related to language policy and policy makers;
  • validation research that includes bi-directional collaborations with assessment stakeholders;
  • assessment literacy in relation to the assessment of languages other than English;
  • investigations of the sociocultural context in relation to assessment literacy;
  • examinations of differential knowledge and assessment literacy needs of different stakeholder groups.


Presentation Categories

LTRC 2017 invites proposals for the presentation types listed below.

Research Papers
Research papers should present completed empirical research and are best suited to theoretically oriented work. Paper presentations are 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions and comments from the audience. Proposals for empirical studies should provide a motivation for the study, an appropriately detailed description of the method, the results, conclusions, and implications. Proposals for conceptual research should discuss an approach or a critical issue, or compare and contrast alternative approaches or issues, and provide significant new insights. Paper proposals must not exceed 500 words. Proposals not accepted as research papers may be considered as posters or works-in-progress.

Symposia involve the presentation of several research papers in one single 120 minute session. They focus on a single, coherent theme and are best suited for the presentation and discussion of empirical research, theory, and practice. Ideally, symposia will offer complementary or differing perspectives on an important topic or issue, stimulating wider discussion of the topic by the presenters and audience. Symposia may include up to four individual presenters, a moderator and/or an independent discussant, and should include time for discussion of the symposium’s themes. In no more than 500 words, the symposium proposal should include a summary of the topic and overarching goal. In addition, the titles and abstracts of individual papers should be included, each not exceeding 250 words. The proposal should evidence the careful planning (e.g., timing of each contribution) of how the symposium will be carried out.

Demos are a demonstration of a technology and how this technology has been innovatively applied to assessments. This may involve new ways of designing and developing assessments, delivering assessments, text analysis and scoring of assessments, understanding assessment behaviors (e.g., eye-tracking studies), or other uses of technology in assessment. Presenters should be prepared to showcase their work through screen shots and/or actual demos. Demos are 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions and comments from the audience. In no more than 500 words, the proposal should fully describe the substantive goals of the presentation, outline how the demo will proceed, and discuss any implications.

Posters provide an opportunity for the presentation of test development projects, new tests, and technological innovations not suitable for consideration as a demo. Posters will be displayed on one specific day and presenters should be available to discuss their work and answer questions. Poster proposals may not exceed 500 words.

Works-in-Progress (WIPs)
Research that is still in progress should be submitted as a works-in-progress presentation. These sessions provide an opportunity for the presentation of research in progress or research that is being planned. Presenters discuss their unfinished research or research plans with other participants and receive comments and suggestions on how to best proceed. The proposal must not exceed 500 words.

Revised Proposal Deadline: Sunday, October 9th, 2016, 11:59 EDT


Please contact Dr. Beverly Baker, LTRC 2017 co-chair: Beverly.Baker "at"

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