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Assessing L2 Academic Speaking Ability: The Need for a Scenario-based Assessment Approach

Published Dec 22, 2017

Abstract The conceptualization of L2 proficiency has evolved to include a broader range of knowledge, skills, and abilities, prompting L2 testers to embrace new approaches to defining and assessing L2 speaking ability. This review discusses the evolution of L2 proficiency and speaking ability, and suggests scenario-based assessment (SBA) as a promising practice to designing language… Read more

A Learning-oriented Assessment Perspective on Scenario-based Assessment

Published Dec 22, 2017

Abstract Traditional high-stakes, large-scale language assessments are known for their standardized formats and stable psychometric properties; however, recently researchers have been re-conceptualizing language assessment design and development theories and methodologies to more closely reflect the knowledge, skills and abilities required of 21st century students. Attempting to confront the evolving notions of instruction, learning, and assessment,… Read more

Exploring the Possibilities of Scenario-based Assessment: An Introduction

Published Dec 22, 2017

Abstract The field of language assessment has steadily been evolving over the years, with new approaches to construct definition and test design emerging as developments in research and technology arise. Different fields have helped inform theory and practice, and one approach, which began as part of K-12 assessment, seems particularly promising–the approach of Scenario-based Assessment… Read more

Complex Dynamic Systems Research: Some Insights on Data Analysis

Published Jun 23, 2017

Abstract Acquiring a second language (L2) has been increasingly recognized to be an ongoing developmental process, one that progresses in a fluid and non-linear fashion (Larsen-Freeman, 2015). Instead of operating like a mechanical black box that parses incoming linguistic information and outputs oral/written language indiscriminately, the learner’s developing system has been shown to be selectively… Read more

Why an Indirect Measure of L2 Learner’s Willingness to Communicate in L2 Writing Requires Cautious Inferencing

Published Jun 23, 2017

Abstract In Exploring the dynamics of willingness to communicate (WTC) in written communication, Choe’s (this issue) preliminary case study explores an area of WTC that has not been fully addressed by WTC scholars: an analysis of WTC in written communication. In 1998, MacIntyre, Dörnyei, Clément and Noels stated regarding WTC, “We propose to extend WTC… Read more

Trade-off or Connected Growers: Implications on Accuracy and Complexity in L2 Writing

Published Jun 23, 2017

Abstract This paper responds to Exploring the dynamism between propositional complexity and error rate: a case study by Jordan Van Horn (this issue). In her study, Jordan Van Horn analyzes asynchronous email exchanges between a native and nonnative speaker of English utilizing three methods of analysis: error analysis, complexity analysis, and qualitative analysis. In triangulating… Read more

A Discussion of Studies in CDST: An Introduction

Published Jun 23, 2017

Abstract In this special issue on Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST), four empirical studies (by Ahmed, Choe, Ciriani Dean, and Van Horn) investigate interlanguage through a CDST perspective. As a way of extending the discussion on CDST, students in the Second Language Acquisition (SLA) doctoral seminar in the Applied Linguistics and TESOL Program at Teachers… Read more

Signaling Learner Stance through Multimodal Resources

Published Dec 31, 2016

Abstract Stance refers to a display of a socially recognized epistemic or affective attitude toward a referent or proposition (Ochs, 1993). Although this display of attitude can be performed linguistically, paralinguistically, and non-verbally (Du Bois, 2007), it has primarily been explored in terms of linguistic strategies (use of reference terms, constructed dialogue, repetition, etc.) that… Read more

Computer Mediated Collaborative Word Search in Online Tutoring: A Single Case Analysis

Published Dec 31, 2016

Abstract As internet-based remote communication became one of the primary modes for human interaction, particularly when it has been adopted in instructional and educational contexts, researchers have begun exploring various features of the interactions occurring on or mediated by these platforms. Garcia and Jacobs (1999) examined students’ exchanges on a text-based quasi-synchronous discussion program and… Read more

Contribution with Hand-Raising in Graduate Student Self-Selection: Bringing Legitimacy to the Focal Shift of Talk

Published Dec 31, 2016

Abstract Hand-raising is an extremely useful device for classroom self-selection. According to Sahlström (2002), it exhibits a student’s willingness to participate, and is a means by which to attract the attention of the teacher. Kawabe, Yamamoto, Aoyagi, and Watanabe (2014) analyzed various situations and student factors to affect hand-raising in the classroom. The practice of… Read more

Embodied Vocabulary Explanation in ESL Group Interaction: A Preliminary Account

Published Dec 31, 2016

Abstract In recent decades, the study of language learners’ embodied behavior amongst themselves has gained much currency. Broadly speaking, a wealth of studies on learner gestures connect gestures with second language acquisition, and have shown that gestures play a role in facilitating communication, acquisition, and retention (Gullberg, 1998, 2011, 2014; McCafferty, 2004; McCafferty & Gullberg,… Read more

Managing the Participation of a Young Learner: A Multimodal Teacher Practice

Published Dec 31, 2016

Abstract As it becomes increasingly apparent that nonverbal conduct plays an integral role in pedagogical interactions (McCafferty & Stam, 2008; Zwiers, 2007), researchers who study interaction in situ are shifting focus from solely talk toward a multimodal approach (Lazaraton, 2004; Olsher, 2004; Seo & Koshik, 2010; Taylor, 2014). From this body of research, a finding… Read more

Multimodality in the Classroom: An Introduction

Published Dec 31, 2016

Abstract As a methodological approach that studies naturally occurring social interaction in various settings, conversation analysis (CA) uncovers how social actions are organized in the moment-by-moment details of interaction and how participants as Members make sense of each other in situ (Psathas, 1995; ten Have, 2007). Due to technological limitations, early CA research largely relied… Read more

Test Fairness in Second Language Assessment

Published Jul 18, 2016

Abstract Fairness, an essential quality of a test, has been broadly defined as equitable treatment of all test-takers during the testing process, absence of measurement bias, equitable access to the constructs being measured, and justifiable validity of test score interpretation for the intended purpose(s) (AREA, APA, & NCME, 2014). Given that test fairness is closely… Read more

Language, Migration, and Citizenship in France

Published Jul 18, 2016

Abstract As countries are confronted with the complexities of integrating new immigrants within their national borders, the ability of new arrivals to use the language or languages of their adopted country has increasingly become viewed as essential to the process of their integration and assimilation. The use of language assessments as a requirement for citizenship… Read more

Commentaries on Validity Issues in Foreign and Second Language Assessment

Published Jul 18, 2016

Abstract In empirical applied linguistics research, the primary goal and concern is to operationalize key variables (i.e., measured constructs) in a valid and reliable way, generate scores for the measured variables through quantitative and/or qualitative means (e.g., various kinds of pre- or posttests, surveys, or coded observations), treat those scores appropriately, and allow for proper… Read more