Current Projects

Decorative blue flower

Jump to: Test Development | Professional Development | Research Dissemination | Evaluation

 Test Development

Investigators: Şeyma Toker, Derek Reagan, Meg Malone, Olivia Stevens

This project aims to expand and validate an existing short-cut proficiency measure of Turkish. The existing texts will be reviewed for their alignment with ACTFL levels, and domain experts, Turkish native speakers, instructors, and learners of Turkish will be included in the development stages for feedback and quality control. Think-aloud data will be collected to inform native and learner processes of linguistic items. The results of the C-test will be further correlated with learners’ performance on ACTFL tests. Five optimal texts of high reliability, good separation indices and fit statistics will be selected to inform future L2 research.

More about C-tests >

Investigators: Meg Montee, Shannon Victoria King, Ke Lin 

As part of our work to develop short-cut proficiency measures for language research, the AELRC is developing an Elicited Imitation (EI) test in Russian. EI tests are short, quick proficiency tests targeting oral production and reception. Test takers listen to a speaker who says a phrase that they, the test takers, then repeat back to the speaker as accurately as possible. The sentences become progressively longer and more complex as the test progresses.

The project will include developing test materials, piloting with native and non-native speakers of Russian, and conducting cognitive interviews with examinees. The project will result in a publicly available EI test available on request for language researchers.

Investigators: Meg Montee, Tianyi Ye

Compared to vocabulary or grammar learning, pragmatic learning is relatively more elusive to a finite standard, which poses challenges for educators. The Intercultural, Pragmatic, and Interactional Competence (IPIC) Assessment program is aimed to bridge such a gap and provide a robust and authentic assessment tool for both teaching and learning purposes. In collaboration with the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon, IPIC Spanish has successfully launched. At present, the IPIC program is extending to Mandarin Chinese in the business and medical domain. Previous efforts include a thorough lit review in pragmatic Chinese, a needs analysis of business Chinese learners, textbook scenario analysis, and the scoring rubric based on the Spanish program. The next phase shall be conducting a focus group, so our current priority is to make preparations, including drafting and submitting IRB, organizing recruitment, and so on.

Visit IPIC’s homepage >

Investigators: Meg Montee, Laura Tan, Quinlan Dulaney

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) program supports intensive language study opportunities for college students in the US. To capture language gains made during these programs, the IFLE Assessment Tool gathers data on how a student improved in their studied language. This project aims to evaluate this assessment tool and make suggestions for its improvement. This research aims to support quality language evaluation data for FLAS grantee programs and the US government.

Professional Development

Investigators: Jamie Morgan, Francesca Di Silvio, Meg Montee, Valentina Michelotti

Through the AELRC, CAL offers a free online training course that teaches world language instructors about the fundamentals of assessment. The asynchronous course provides world language instructors with an understanding of the fundamentals of assessment by presenting specific examples of how each applies to real classroom assessment situations. The course lasts five weeks and includes five units that require two hours each. Units focus on: (1) an introduction to assessment, (2) validity, (3) reliability, (4) practicality, and (5) impact.

Learn More >

Investigators: AELRC, ILR

The AELRC supports this conference, initiated in 2002, to provide a forum for the dissemination of high-quality, peer-reviewed research on language assessment to national educators, scholars, students, and other professionals. Pre- and post-conference workshops will be offered to enhance language teacher assessment literacy. Approximately 140 language testers participate annually, and post-conference evaluations reveal high satisfaction with the conference.

ECOLT homepage >

Investigators: AELRC, CASLS, local education agencies, community colleges

The AELRC conducts summer institutes on the basics of language assessment, rating oral proficiency assessments, and developing assessment tasks. Two upcoming institutes will focus on the IPIC and its uses for teaching intercultural communication in the classroom. The AELRC and the Center for Applied Second Language Study (CASLS) will each support a summer institute on assessing intercultural competence. Institutes are designed to be applicable to key constituencies such as K-12 teachers and community college and heritage language program instructors and to date have served over 100 such language teachers and instructors.

The AELRC will create a video series surrounding validity, LCTL assessment and LCTL language program evaluation. Other resources will be cross linked to the series, e.g. AELRC briefs, webinars and research articles. The goal for the video series is to provide educators with short, accessible introductions to topics from experts in the field. These videos can be used as a function of professional development or a resource educators can view on their own.

Investigators: Meg Montee, Elli Ahn

The teaching and learning of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) is an integral part of the move towards a more multicultural and diverse society, one equipped to meet the critical needs of the 21st century. Yet, assessment and program evaluation opportunities for LCTL programs remain limited today, restricting effective expansion and innovative practices. The AELRC will be hosting a synchronous webinar series titled “Advancing LCTLs: Assessment and Evaluation for Cross-cultural Communication” to address the gap in LCTL evaluation opportunities and open up a dialogue about best assessment practices. Each 30-minute episode of this series aims to center the needs of underserved programs and educators, with topics ranging from C-test uses, the Intercultural Pragmatic Interactional Competence (IPIC) Assessment, and more.

Research Dissemination

Investigator: Bradford Salen

The AELRC is developing a database of about 1,200 pre-rated simulated oral proficiency tests in seven languages from a previous study of pre- and post-study abroad students. We will support this effort by working with Georgetown graduate students, internal researchers, and external researchers to further anonymize the data for national research, transcribe it, and make it available for widespread use.

Investigators: Francesca Di Silvio, Jamie Morgan, Valentina Michelotti, NHLRC, Montgomery College,
The AELRC updates and continually maintains this free, online, searchable directory of information about currently available language assessments, hosted by CAL. The FLAD also includes a free, web-based tutorial designed to support educators in selecting an assessment. The existing FLAD resources focus on university audiences; the AELRC is developing new web-based materials for heritage, K-12, and community college educators with information about how to use the FLAD to select assessments that meet their needs.

More about FLAD >

Investigators: Amber Hall, Meg Montee, Daniyal Nisbet, Caitlyn Pineault, Frank Yank

This multi-year project explores world language program articulation from K-12 contexts into higher education institutions. The project is national in scope and seeks to generate results that highlight the unique challenges and barriers that impact effective secondary to post-secondary world language articulation, including within underrepresented contexts, such as less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) articulation sequences. Data collection will occur over a span of three years and feature focus groups, a national survey, and a series of case studies to develop an emic perspective of the various factors that impact K-16 articulation. Project deliverables will empower programs, administrators, educators, and policy makers to (1) support high-level language proficiency outcomes, (2) increase enrollments, and (3) expand diversity through evidence-based strategies for K-16 program articulation.

More about K-16 World Language Program Articulation>


Investigators: Meg Montee, Malik Stevenson

The AELRC is currently conducting a study of world language programs to create evaluation tools that allow world language programs to assess their program’s diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) including the diversity of the student population, any barriers to promoting equity, and student access to world language programs. This national study, which includes both surveys and interviews with world language educators, will seek to understand their perspectives and needs and develop tools to empower program improvement. Examples of program evaluation tools may include survey instruments, interview protocols, and data analysis procedures. The goal of this study is to gain a more comprehensive understanding of DEI principles and how to enhance world language programs to effectively meet DEI objectives.

Investigators: Malik Stevenson, Francesca Venezia, Olivia Stevens

The AELRC is conducting research on how the Seal of Biliteracy impacts students as they transition from high school to higher education. We are collecting data through a survey and interviews with various stakeholders including students, university language instructors, university admissions officers, high school counselors, high school language teachers, and high school and district world language supervisors/coordinators from California, North Carolina, and Illinois (the 3 states with the most Seal recipients in 2018-2019). Through this study, we hope to better understand how receiving the Seal impacts students as they apply to college and take university-level language courses.

More about the Seal of Biliteracy >

The AELRC is currently conducting a study of K-12 world language program evaluation. This national study, which includes both focus group interviews and a questionnaire, gathers information from teachers and administrators about their experiences with and perceptions of world language program evaluation in their schools. The goal of this study is to investigate teachers’ and administrators’ experiences with K-12 world language program evaluation in order to begin to determine their needs.