15th International TELLSI Conference

19 Sunday January 2020  |  فارسی  |   |   | 
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Dr. Garold Murray is associate professor in the Centre for Liberal Arts and Language Education at Okayama University, Japan. He holds a PhD in language education the University of British Columbia, Canada. In addition to having taught EFL courses in junior high school, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and teacher education programs, he established and managed two self-access centres in Japan – one of which was open to the general public. He has served as convener of the AILA Research Network on Learner Autonomy in Language Learning (2005-2011) and president of the Japan Association of Self-Access Language Learning (2005-2010). His research interests focus on learner autonomy, social learning spaces, imagination, and semiotics of place. He is editor of the book The Social Dimensions of Learner Autonomy (2014) and co-editor of the books Identity, Motivation, and Autonomy in Language
(2011); Social Spaces for Language Learning: Stories the L-café (2016); and Space, Place and Autonomy in Language Learning (2018)

Plenary Speech  

Autonomy, Complexity and Social Spaces for Language Learning

Learner autonomy in language learning has been generally defined in terms of learners taking control of their own learning. In this talk, I argue that the time has come to re-examine this notion in view of recent theoretical developments in the field of applied linguistics and the emergence of out-of-class language learning as an area of inquiry. Over the years, learner autonomy has demonstrated its capacity to adapt to changing times. Introduced in the late 1970s during an era characterized by the teacher-dominated language classroom, learner autonomy provided a much-needed focus on learners as potentially independent individuals capable of taking charge of their learning. Later, as the so-called ‘social turn’ gained prominence in the field of applied linguistics, autonomy revealed itself to be a social construct developed through interdependence. Now, as applied linguists turn their attention to complexity science and learning beyond the classroom, what can be revealed about learner autonomy by examining the construct a complex dynamic systems perspective in an out-of-class environment?

In order to address this question, I draw on the findings of three studies – a five-year ethnography, a multiple-case study and a narrative inquiry – all of which explore a social space for language learning located on the campus of a large national university in Japan. By social learning space I refer to a place learners can come together in order to learn with and each other. I begin the talk by describing the social learning space, after which I outline the studies and provide the necessary theoretical background. I then discuss
what these inquiries suggest about learner autonomy and reflect on the implications for practice and future research.

Dr Ardeshir Geranpayeh is the Head of Automated Assessment & Learning at the Cambridge English Language Assessment, a department of the University of Cambridge. Ardeshir holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics the University of Edinburgh on the comparability of language proficiency testing. He has 28 years’ experience of test validation and has contributed to the design, development, validation, revision and evaluation of several internationally recognised language proficiency tests.  Ardeshir has been leading on the development and implementation of automated assessment of Writing and Speaking in Cambridge English since 2009. His recent interest has been in the use of automated assessment to provide feedback to learners in a Learning Oriented Assessment (LOA) context. Ardeshir also has a strong background in computing and information technology. He has run several workshops on Basic statistics, Item Response Theory, Test Equating, Structural Equation Modelling, Differentiating Item Functioning, Test of Listening and Test Security, discussing various aspects of Practices, Policies, Consequences and technical advancements in cheating detection. He is a regular presenter and workshop leader in several international conferences such as; National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), Association of Test Publishers (ATP), Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE), Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), Language Testing Forum (LTF), and International Test Commission (ITC) and has published extensively on language proficiency testing and cheating detection. His current interests include: the use of Digital Technology in Adaptive Learning and Assessment, Automated Assessment of Writing and Speaking and Test Fraud Detection.

Most recent publications;
-         Geranpayeh, A. et al. Forthcoming. “Developing an automated writing placement system for ESL learners”. Journal of Applied Measurement.
-          Geranpayeh, A. 2014a. “A Look at Unintentional Cheating in the Testing Industry: Professional Credentialing”. NCME Newsletter, Vol 22, No. 1, pp 5-7.
-          Geranpayeh. A. 2014b. “Detecting Plagiarism and Cheating” in A.J. Kunnan (Ed.) The Companion to Language Assessment. Vol 2. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, pp 980-993.
-          Geranpayeh, A and Taylor, L (Eds) (2013) Examining Listening: Research and Practice in Assessing Second Language Listening, Studies in Language Testing volume 35, Cambridge: UCLES/Cambridge University Press

Plenary Speech

  Learning Oriented Assessment: Putting Learning at the Heart of Assessment

There has been a shift in linking learning and assessment in providing evidence concerning learning that can be used in different ways to promote further learning. The shift has put the learner at the heart of the assessmentfour worlds of the individual learner, the social world, the world of education and the world of assessment are brought together in a systemic way to enable different stakeholders to work towards a common purpose. The new approach is called the Learning Oriented Assessment (LOA).

This talk will introduce the concept of Learning Oriented Assessment (LOA) and encourage participants to reflect on the different forms of assessment they use in their schools and classrooms. They will learn more about the role and impact of assessment in educational reform contexts at both macro and micro levels. I will bring examples to give participants the opportunity to reflect on important interfaces between language learning, teaching and assessment in light of their own experiences, knowledge and insights. LOA puts learning at the heart of all forms of assessment and moves away fr0m  a dichotomy between formative and summative functions. Practical aspects of this model will be examined and participants will consider how data collected using various forms of assessment can be used to profile learners, monitor progress and inform teacher decision-making and future planning. Finally the session will be looking to the future and considering the role that digital technology can play within the model and how this can be used to stimulate greater creativity in both teaching and learning. It will be argued that the use of digital technology is essential to the success of an LOA approach in the classroom by bringing an innovative example of the application of the digital technology, automated assessment, to provide diagnostic feedback to the classroom.


Prof. Mehdi Riazi obtained his Ph.D. in Second Language Education the University of Toronto, Canada. He was a faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Shiraz University he supervised 48 master’s theses and 14 Ph.D. dissertations. He was the Chair of the 4th TELLSI Conference which was held at Shiraz University in 2007. He joined the Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University in Australia in July 2009 and currently holds the positon of full professor in Applied Linguistics. He has supervised 7 Ph.D. and 8 master’s theses to completion at Macquarie University and currently has 5 Ph.D. students under supervision. He also convenes and lectures on two postgraduate courses of “Research Methods” and “Language Assessment”. His areas of interest include academic communication, second language reading and writing, language assessment, program evaluation, and research methodology. He has presented and published extensively at local and international conferences and journals on areas of his interest. His most recent books are The Routledge Encyclopedia of Research Methods published in 2016 by Routledge and Mixed Methods Research published in 2017 by Equinox. He was the chief investigator for three research projects with IELTS, Pearson, and ETS (TOEFL) on test validation. He is an expert member of the European Association of Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) http://www.ealta.eu.org/expert-members.php?member_id=7925and a member of International Language Testing Association (ILTA) http://www.iltaonline.com/

 Further information about Mehdi Riazi can be found the following URL:http://www.mq.edu.au/...

Plenary Speech

 A critical review of the theoretical orientation and research methodology in second language writing

 In the light of the theme of the 15th TELLSI conference, which is “Applied Linguistics in the 3rd Millennium: Towards Criticality and Reflection” this paper intends to critically review and reflect on the second language (L2) writing research as one of the salient strands in the discipline of Applied Linguistics.
 I will present and discuss findings of a metadisciplinary analysis of the field of second language writing based on a comprehensive review and analysis of all the empirical articles (n= 259) published in the Journal of Second Language Writing (JSLW) covering a time period of 24 years 1992-2016 (inclusive). I will report on the overall trends of L2 writing as well as how the field has been represented over three distinct periods of 1992-1999, 2000-2009, and 2010-2015.

 Results of the analysis of the research focus showed that feedback (18%, n=45), language and literacy development (13%, n=33), and writing instruction (13%, n=32) were most common overall and there was greater breadth as the years progressed. On other hand, analysis of the theoretical orientation showed that 47% (n=120) of the published studies did not establish an explicit theoretical orientation. Of those that were identified, the most common were cognitive (17%, n=43), social (17%, n=43), and socio-cognitive (10%, n=26). When examined over time, a social orientation became more common and there was also greater theoretical specificity. In terms of.

 Analysis of the methodological approaches employed by L2 writing researchers revealed that qualitative approach was the dominant methodological approach in 40% (n= 101) of the articles; followed by a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches (33%, n= 84), but not necessarily mixed-methods; quantitative approaches (26%, n= 66); and mixed-methods (2%, n= 4). In terms of the data sources, text samples (42%), elicitation techniques (23%), and multiple (more than 3 data sources) (21%) were the dominant data sources used by L2 writing researchers.
 Some implications of the above analyses for the future directions of L2 writing research will be discussed. 

 Dr. Hossein Farhady is an associate professor of applied linguistics who received his MA in TESL and PhD in Applied Linguistics UCLA in 1978 and 1980, respectively. His major area of interest is research on various aspects of language assessment.

    He has taught courses on language testing, research methods, and ESP at the MA and PhD levels for the last four decades in Iran, Canada, Armenia, and USA. He has also presented papers in national and international conferences and has widely published on the issues related to language testing. He has published more than 10 books and 50 articles on various topics in applied linguistics in general and in language assessment, in particular. He has directed MA programs in TEFL, two nationwide research projects on EFL/EAP education in Iran, and supervised over 60 MA and PhD theses. He has also directed several test development and test validation projects in Iran and other places in the world. 
    He retired in 2006, moved to US, and worked as a senior scholar and project manager for organizations such as Ordinate and Lidget Green Corporations in California, Avant Assessment, and Second Language Testing, Inc., in Rockville, Maryland. 2008 to 2010, he worked as the associate dean of the Department of English Programs at the American University of Armenia. He has also directed projects related to the scoring of Pearson’s new automated language proficiency test and validating Versant test, and received grants Pearson, ETS, and ILTA.
    Presently, he is a faculty member at the ELT department at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey and an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Plenary Speech 

  Developing a Language Assessment Literacy Test for EFL Teachers: A Data Driven Approach

        Within the last few decades, ELT has been moving towards learning oriented assessment (LOA) learners are expected to become more self-regulated and teachers are recommended to move away traditional transmission of information approach to helping learners possess, transform, and apply the information to real-life contexts. To meet these expectations, EFL teachers need to be provided with opportunities to improve different dimensions of their professional knowledge.    

Knowledge of language assessment, referred to as assessment literacy (AL) at its basic level, is believed to be one of the cornerstones of teachers’ professional knowledge, especially in the context of LOA. AL is defined as “having the capacity to ask and answer critical questions about the purpose for assessment, about the fitness of the tool being used, about testing conditions, and about what is going to happen on the basis of the results” (Inbar-Lourie, 2008, p.389). Unfortunately, research findings on teachers’ level of LAL are not promising. There seems to be a general lack of knowledge of fundamental principles of assessment among EFL teachers (Farhady and Tavassoli, 2016; Taylor, 2013; Webb, 2007). Among many reasons for such an undesirable situation, one might be the lack of easily accessible LAL tests with desirable psychometric qualities to be used in EFL contexts.
To address the issue, this two-phase study was designed to develop a LAL test for EFL teachers in Iran. In the first phase, a needs assessment was conducted to explore EFL teachers’ perception of the importance of LAL using a modified version of the needs questionnaire developed by Fulcher (2012) supplemented by some open-ended questions. The findings revealed that the majority of the 246 participants considered major topics in language assessment as either essential or important to be included in language assessment courses. These topics were ed and checked with the topics in the available language assessment textbooks. In the second phase, a LAL test was developed using the information obtained in first phase. The test was developed in six parts each focusing on one major area of language assessment using closed-item formats including ‘matching’, ‘ordering’, and ‘multiple-choice’. After having the test reviewed by experts in the field, it was revised and then piloted with 50 EFL teachers with diverse ages and experiences. The test was finalized after making necessary revisions and administered to 165 EFL teachers. The data revealed that contrary to teachers’ claims in the first phase of the study, most of them had low levels of LAL. Implications of the findings will be discussed and directions for future research will be suggested.

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