West Tokyo JALT:

Micro-Conference 6: The Ins and Outs of Language Testing

Date: Sunday, December 16th, 2007 Time: 9:45 AM - 5:45 PM

Speaker: Terry Yearly (TOFL Seminar), Gerry Lasche (Miyagi Gakuin Women's University), Andy Boon (Toyo Gakuen University), Kristie Sage (Komazawa University), and Jeff Hubbell (Hosei University)

The West Tokyo Chapter of JALT (Japan Association for Language Teaching), and the TEVAL SIG (Testing and Evaluation Special Interest Group) announce the sixth in a new series of micro-conferences, each featuring several presenters exploring a particular topic for a whole day. The theme of this conference is testing - both standardized tests, and the ones we make for our own classes.

9:45-10:00 Registration
10:00-12:00 Terry Yearley (TOFL Seminar) A Course for the TOEFL iBT Independent Writing Task (The 30 minute essay). In the first hour, the presenter will lead an interactive tour of a 6-week study course to prepare for the IWT (the 30-minute essay), showing how each element of essay structure is taught and practiced in the classroom. In the remaining time, participants will themselves attempt an IWT, under simulated test conditions.
12:00-13:00: Lunch
13:00-13:45 Gerry Lassche (Miyagi Gakuin Women's University) Assessing Young Learners' Language (YLL). Assessing L2 development and proficiency tends to be a complicated responsibility for teachers and unpleasant for learners. It is even more complicated in the case of young (pre-adult) L2 learners (YLL), whose L2 proficiency develops even as L1 proficiency is still maturing and the learner continues to develop emotionally, socially, cognitively. The presenter will discuss issues of psychological development as they relate to YLL assessment, comparing and contrasting with the case of adult learners; will suggest guidelines for responsible assessment of YLL; and will briefly present assessment portfolios as a possible solution to some of the issues raised.
14:00-14:45 Andy Boon (Toyo Gakuen University) Gambaro! Sustaining Student Motivation in TOEIC Classes. Good motivation is vital for progress and success in L2 acquisition. And yet, in TOEIC preparation classes, where authentic test practice is often at a level higher than the students ' proficiency, it can be easy for the students to withdraw their energy investment, lose confidence in their ability and simply give up. The presenter will provide an overview of a 2nd-year university TOEIC course that he teaches and will describe a number of techniques for generating and sustaining student motivation.
15:00-15:45 Kristie Sage (Komazawa University) Performance Testing Made More Objective by Utilising Test Specifications. Performance testing is widely regarded as subjective, but can probably be made more objective through the use of Test Specifications (TS). The presenter will first argue that TS can act as a blueprint to inform test development and, once made transparent, can be re-used by both their designer and others; and will then address how this transparency can be enhanced by making TS databases, linking video and other downloadable material to the TS, and setting standards.
16:00-17:30 Jeff Hubbell (Hosei University) The Quirky World of Multiple-Choice (MC) Item Writing. MC test items may seem to use the target language artificially, but they are practical and well-accepted, so many EFL teachers are routinely called on to aid in the construction of MC items for large-scale, high-stakes L2 tests. Unfortunately, resources to establish the reliability of MC items or the validity of score interpretation generally fall far short of the piloting or other resources available to ETS or Cambridge. The presenter will offer examples and tips from the literature and from over 25 years of experience that should prove useful to those who find themselves involved in MC item writing; and will illustrate theoretical guidelines with concrete examples, some hands-on practice, and open and frank discussion of issues that ad hoc test developers may face.

Organization: West Tokyo Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (West Tokyo JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 2000 yen

Venue: Tokyo Keizai University, Daiichi Kenkyuu Center, Room 1310

Location: Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan


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