Methodological Approaches to Research on Multilingualism and Language Education: Assessment of language competencies

  • Booking Name: Tuesday Morning WS 5
  • Time: 9:00 - 12:30
  • Organisers: Antje Hansen, Irina Usanova, Ingrid Gogolin

The workshop will address the issues of language assessment in linguistically diverse contexts. It aims to focus on both relevant dimensions of language assessment: the dimension of instruments’ development and the dimension of data analysis. The purpose is, therefore, to introduce and critically discuss the challenges of developing new instruments for parallel assessment of multiple languages, the reliability and validity of newly developed instruments as well as the comparability of tests across different languages. It will also address the relevant aspects of integrating language assessment into the research design.

The workshop will focus on instruments to assess language competencies based on the evidence from the German research projects on multilingualism and language education. This includes instruments that assess students’ competencies in the majority and heritage languages as well as in selected foreign languages. The workshop is organized in a collaboration of the German coordination office for multilingualism and language education (KoMBi), the German panel study “Multilingual Development: A Longitudinal Perspective (MEZ)” and the EERA Network on Language and Education (NW31). KoMBi coordinates a research cluster in Germany that comprises of ten projects that investigate different aspects of multilingualism and language education. For this workshop, the MEZ project was selected from the KoMBi research cluster to provide the research based examples for multiple language assessment. With more than 2000 students having participated in this study and the broad scope of tested languages (Russian/Turkish (HLs), German (ML), English, French/Russian (FLs)), this longitudinal study comprises of the unique and extensive receptive and productive data on students’ multilingual literacy skills in Germany.

The first part of the workshop will provide a general overview of the existing language assessment practices of the KoMBi projects. In this part, selected instruments from the German research cluster ”Language Education and Multilingualism” will be presented. The participants will get insights into how and which instruments are used and which language competencies are measured to address which research questions.

The second part will focus on the language assessment based on the experience gained in the MEZ project. At first, a general introduction to the project will be provided to discuss the integration of language assessment into the research design. After that, the selected instruments applied in this project to assess language competencies will be presented. It will be shown which languages competencies are assessed in the majority, heritage and foreign languages and how instruments were adapted to assess languages competencies in the heritage languages Russian and Turkish as well in the foreign languages English, French and Russian. General principles in the adaption of instruments and challenges will be pointed out. The selected instruments include writing prompts developed for the assessment of productive written language skills and a c-test as a measure of general language proficiency.

Naturally, discussing instruments to assess language competencies is country and context specific since it includes specific linguistic characteristics of the given language constellations. Considering this, the workshop will rather focus on general principles of language assessment, present selected examples and focus on what kind of instruments are used to answer specific research questions.
The workshop will provide opportunities for interaction and discussion as well as for an application of the presented content to language assessment in the countries of the participants.

The objectives of the workshop are:

  • To get an overview of instruments used to assess language competencies in research projects on multilingualism and language education
  • To be aware of challenges in the assessment of multiple languages
  • To learn about principles concerning the adaption of instruments to assess language competencies

Requirements - IMPORTANT:

  • You are only eligible to attend this workshop if you are registered as participant of ECER.
  • Should you not be able to attend, please cancel your reservation, as there might be a waiting list.

EERA Going Green

As part of the commitment of EERA to ensuring that our annual European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) is as sustainable as possible, we were delighted to work with the local organisers of our Hamburg 2019 conference to develop our 'Green Agenda'.  Watch this videoto learn more!

To cover and document the conference from a student’s perspective, Josephine Hohberg, a masterstudent in Hamburg, will blog and report on her #ECER2019 experience.
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