Impact theory and practice, R Hawkey

Tags: Cambridge University Press, Progetto Lingue 2000, IELTS test, Impact Theory and Practice, language testing, impact studies, impact study, language tests, Acknowledgements, English Language, Impact Theory and Practice Studies, assessment, Roger Hawkey, Cambridge ESOL, test validation, stakeholders, impact research, Impact Theory, sound evidence, University Press, Performance testing, Issues in computer-adaptive testing of reading proficiency, Alan Davies, research studies, focus on IELTS, international assessment, international assessments, language test, social impact, testing, Hawkey, Cambridge ESOL Research, Michael Milanovic, Language Testing Research, implementation stages, study, Cyril Weir
Content: Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Impact Theory and Practice Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Also in this series: Performance testing, cognition and assessment: Selected papers from the 15th Language Testing Research Colloquium, Cambridge and Arnhem Edited by Michael Milanovic and Nick Saville The development of IELTS: A study of the effect of background knowledge on reading comprehension Caroline Clapham Verbal protocol analysis in language testing research: A handbook Alison Green Multilingual glossary of language testing terms Prepared by ALTE members Dictionary of language testing Alan Davies, Annie Brown, Cathie Elder, Kathryn Hill, Tom Lumley, Tim McNamara Learner strategy use and performance on Language Tests: A structural equation modeling approach James E. Purpura Fairness and validation in language assessment: Selected papers from the 19th Language Testing Research Colloquium, Orlando, Florida Antony John Kunnan Issues in computer-adaptive testing of reading proficiency Micheline Chalhoub-Deville Experimenting with uncertainty: Essays in honour of Alan Davies Edited by A. Brown, C. Elder, N. Iwashita, E. Grove, K. Hill, T. Lumley, K. O'Loughlin, T. McNamara An empirical investigation of the componentiality of L2 reading in English for academic purposes Edited by Cyril J. Weir, Yang Huizhong, Jin Yan The equivalence of direct and semi-direct speaking tests Kieran O'Loughlin A Qualitative Approach to the Validation of Oral language Tests Anne Lazaraton Continuity and Innovation: Revising the Cambridge Proficiency in English Examination 1913­2002 Edited by Cyril Weir and Michael Milanovic European Language Testing in a Global context: Proceedings of the ALTE Barcelona Conference July 2001 Edited by Cyril Weir and Michael Milanovic A Modular Approach to Testing English Language Skills: The development of the Certificates in English Language Skills (CELS) examinations Roger Hawkey Testing the Spoken English of Young Norwegians: A study of testing validity and the role of `smallwords' in contributing to pupils' fluency Angela Hasselgreen Changing language teaching through language testing: A washback study Liying Cheng The impact of high-stakes examinations on classroom teaching: A case study using insights from testing and innovation theory Dianne Wall Issues in testing business English: The revision of the Cambridge Business English Certificates Barry O'Sullivan
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Impact Theory and Practice Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey ESOL Consultant
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sгo Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521680974 © UCLES 2006 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2006 Printed in the United Kingdom at THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, Cambridge A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library ISBN -13 978-0-521-68097-4 ISBN -10 0-521-68097-2 The author is grateful to the copyright holders for permission to use the copyright material reproduced in this book. Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders. Cambridge University Press apologises for any unintentional omissions and would be pleased, in such cases, to add an acknowledgement in further editions.
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Contents
Acknowledgements
vi
Series Editors' note
viii
Chapter 1
Impact, washback, evaluation and related concepts:
1
definitions and examples
Chapter 2
Impact study approaches
29
Chapter 3
Impact study objectives, designs and research questions
41
Chapter 4
Impact study instrumentation
54
Chapter 5
Collecting and managing the data
85
Chapter 6
The IELTS impact study: main messages
99
Chapter 7
The PL2000 Impact Study: main messages
133
Chapter 8
Related developments, further research and lessons learned
162
Appendices
179
References
215
Index
225
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Acknowledgements
I am sincerely grateful to the many people who helped me, in various ways, with the impact studies described here, and with the writing and editing of the book. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet, at Lancaster, members of the Lancaster University team who played such a key part in the early phases of the study of IELTS impact. From Charles Alderson, Professor of Linguistics and English Language Education in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Dr Jayanti Banerjee, researcher in language testing and assessment and English for Academic Purposes (EAP), and Tania Horak, Research Associate currently working on the New TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language), I received valuable insights and advice on both historical and current aspects of the study of impact. My thanks, too, to Dr Dianne Wall, also at my Lancaster meetings, for sharing her considerable and continuing experience in the study of test impact. The second group of individuals whose help and support I should like to acknowledge played key roles during the implementation stages of the studies. Dr Raffaele Sanzo, Co-ordinator of the PL2000 in the Ministry of Education, Italy, not only helped to facilitate the Cambridge ESOL Impact Study, but offered encouragement and wise insights throughout its implementation. Richard Turner, of Cambridge ESOL Research and Validation, who held an expert camcorder during the video-ing of IELTS impact study preparation classes, also played a major role in the data management and analysis for both IELTS and PL2000 studies. Liam Vint, Cambridge ESOL Country Manager for Italy, turned PL2000 Impact Study camera person, too, in addition to providing vital contacts and background knowledge throughout planning and implementation stages. Lee Knapp, Cambridge Development Manager, UK, accompanied me on some of my IELTS impact study visits to UK centres and provided me with information and views from his many other IELTS-related contacts. My thanks also to Tony Green, Validation Officer at Cambridge ESOL, who shared data and validating operations with me for the IELTS study. I should like in addition, to express my gratitude to Susan Chapman, of Cambridge ESOL Research and Validation, who gave invaluable administrative support to both studies, and to Rowena Akinyemi and Sally Downes, who co-ordinated the final editing and production of the book.
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Acknowledgements I am grateful to those commissioned to read and make suggestions on the manuscript, namely Alan Davies, Emeritus Professor, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Edinburgh and Peter Falvey, Consultant to Cambridge ESOL. To Nick Charge, Subject Manager for IELTS and Liam Vint, my thanks for reading and advising on parts of the book of particular relevance to their work. May I acknowledge, too, Dr Mike Milanovic, CEO of Cambridge ESOL, and Cyril Weir, Professor of English Language Acquisition at the University of Luton, for guidance, beyond their duties as SiLT series editors, on content and emphasis. Finally I should like to acknowledge the constant interest in the project taken by Nick Saville and Lynda Taylor, Director and Assistant Director respectively, of the Cambridge ESOL Research and Validation Group. Their wise and helpful advice was based both on their interest in and readings of this book. Last, and in some ways most, I should like to recognise all the many participants in the studies described in this book. To the students and their parents, the test takers, the teachers, the school and centre heads, the parents, the administrators and managers, including Cambridge ESOL Local Secretaries, involved in IELTS and the Progetto Lingue 2000, thank you for your co-operation and helpfulness, for your contribution to the good cause of impact study.
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Series Editors' note
Cambridge has always taken a great interest in the educational and social impact of its tests and assessments. For many years while testing experts around the world were preoccupied with the quantitative aspects of assessment worrying about impact was not considered to be particularly relevant. The Cambridge attention to this area was probably even thought of as slightly quirky and old fashioned. However, in recent years, the concept of identifying and measuring how tests impact on the environment in which they operate has been recognised as a very relevant concern. Indeed, three further volumes in this series by Liying Cheng, who looks at washback in Hong Kong, Diane Wall, who documents an impact study in Sri Lanka, and Tony Green, who focuses on IELTS, demonstrate the growing importance of impact research as an aspect of test validation. Languages in general and English in particular, are of ever growing importance, not only for economic reasons, but also for social and political ones. Stakeholders in the language assessment process increasingly require evidence on the interactions between examinations, the stakeholders involved and the outcomes expected. The effective conceptualisation of the dimensions of test impact and its systematic study ­ within the context of test validation research ­ is one of the ways that will help us to address this requirement better. This volume is written from the perspective of an international language testing agency although the issues discussed are of relevance in national and local assessment situations. Roger Hawkey, who has now conducted extensive work in the area of test impact, considers its dimensions and why understanding test impact is important. After some discussion of the concepts of impact and washback and how they fit into a broader educational, research and social context, he looks at the role of impact studies in the Cambridge ESOL test development, validation and revision systems, with particular reference to the Progetto Lingue 2000 in Italy and the study of IELTS impact. In the fields of language teaching and testing, the concepts of washback and impact, as Hawkey explores in some depth, are a matter of both theoretical and practical differentiation and concern. Through the 1980s and into the early 1990s attention focused on the concept of test washback and as such took a relatively narrow view, focusing largely on the teaching­learning relationship with some attention paid to the role of publishers and Course materials. But beyond the learners and teachers affected by the washback of a language test
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Series Editors' note are a range of other stakeholders on whom an examination has impact even though they do not take the test or teach it. These stakeholders, for example, parents, employers, university admissions officers and others, form what we might refer to as the language testing constituency. Cambridge ESOL has defined this constituency particularly in relation to candidates taking its own examinations but the definition applies in other contexts too. Different tests will have different constituencies and an examination board like Cambridge ESOL will be dealing with numerous and varied constituencies, quite possibly for the same test and at the same time. The stakeholders interact with the test construct, format, conditions and assessment criteria in various ways. Cambridge ESOL routinely conducts impact studies as part of the test validation process on an ongoing basis. It is our view that an examination board must be prepared to review and revise what it does in the light of how its stakeholders use and feel about its examinations. As educational processes and social needs change it is vital that examinations adapt to meet the requirements of these changes and the study of test impact facilitates this process even if the interrelationships involved are complex and highly context-dependent. Hawkey rightly points out that impact research is an exemplification of the growing importance of evidence-based approaches to education and assessment. Evidence-based education requires policy and practice capable of being justified in terms of sound evidence about their likely effects. Given that education, or indeed assessment, is not an exact science, it is too important to allow it to be determined by unfounded opinion, whether of politicians, teachers, researchers or anyone else. Validation research, including research into test impact, aims to seek out the evidence necessary to develop, redevelop or indeed operate a testing system in an appropriate and ethical manner. The role of ethics in language testing has risen to the fore much more significantly in the last decade or so. The intention of those concerned with ethical language testing is to implement codes of professionally and socially responsible practice. These codes should provide tighter yet feasible guarantees of test development rigour and probity, with properly-defined targets, appropriate and reliable evaluation criteria, comprehensive, transparent and fair test interpretation and reporting systems, continuous validation processes, and a keener regard for the rights of candidates and other stakeholders (for example, see the ALTE Code of Practice, the ALTE quality assurance work, and the IELTS Handbook and Annual Review). An ethical approach to language testing is a must in the modern world and test impact studies play an important role in demonstrating that language tests are used ethically. However, impact studies can also help address some of the concerns raised by the critical language testing lobby. The critical language
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Cambridge University Press 0521680972 - Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey Frontmatter More information Series Editors' note testing movement characterises tests as, intentionally or not, biased, undemocratic, and unfair means of selecting or policy-changing. It is argued that the main actual impact of language tests is the imposition of constraints, the restriction of curricula, and the possible encouragement of boring, mechanical teaching approaches. Whether this is the case or not needs to be a matter of research rather than opinion and in such a general context a focus on test impact is an important area of study. It is driven by considerations in the field of language testing of wanting to do the job right and providing the appropriate evidence to back any claims. It is also driven by a broader social, political, educational and even cognitive impetus, and we see again the growing movement in education to develop the notion of basing what we do on sound evidence. Indeed, the evidence-based education manifesto argues that we need a culture in which evidence is valued over opinion, and where appropriate action (or inaction) is valued over action for the sake of being seen to do something. This applies just as much to what critical language testers have to say as it does to the claims of examination boards, education departments, schools and so on. This volume is intended to provide the reader with an approach to the study of test impact which allows evidence to be gathered and displayed. It documents in some detail aspects of two impact studies that have been conducted in the Cambridge context and as such, we believe it makes a unique and much needed addition to the field. Its focus on the use of international assessments in state systems in the Progetto Lingue 2000 is relevant as English becomes a core subject in many countries around the world, and it is vital that there is a good understanding of what impact international assessment may have. The focus on IELTS is no less significant as International Mobility continues to increase. The extensive IELTS research takes us beyond a narrow focus on the test itself to the broader impact that it has and demonstrates very clearly that IELTS impacts positively on language learning and teaching in addition to its well known measurement attributes. Two further volumes on IELTS will be published soon after this volume. The first, entitled IELTS Collected Papers: Research in speaking and writing assessment and edited by Lynda Taylor and Peter Falvey, documents a range of research studies with a particular focus on speaking and writing. The second, written by Alan Davies and entitled Assessing Academic English: Testing English proficiency 1950­2005 ­ the IELTS solution, documents the development of the testing of academic English from the 1950s to the present day. Michael Milanovic Cyril Weir 2005
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