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 2019

EXTENDING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF PRAGMATIC COMPETENCE IN MULTILINGUALS: APPLYING A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL, DYNAMIC MODEL TO DIGITAL AND NON-DIGITAL CONTEXTS

Cohosted with the Initiative for Multilingual Studies
Date: Thursday, February 21, 4:00-5:30 PM (reception followed)
Location: Poulton Hall 230, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Presenter: Dr. Julie Sykes, University of Oregon

The study of multilingual language learning necessitates a global perspective that considers a multiplicity of contextual variables concurrent with frameworks capable of operationalizing various dimensions of human interaction. Adding to this necessity is the continual emergence of digital technologies that have expanded the possibilities for communication in ways never before imagined (Taguchi & Sykes, 2013; Thorne, Sauro, & Smith, 2015). Moreover, the patterns for communicating and interpreting meaning are increasing difficult to define, isolate, and teach; however, they are, simultaneously, more accessible to multilinguals.

This presentation explored an empirically-based framework for addressing the pragmatic learning of multilinguals in global contexts. Utilizing digital and non-digital examples, the presentation used the framework to synthesize instruction and assessment in four critical areas – (1) knowledge, (2) analysis, (3) subjectivity, and (4) awareness. The model places skill development at the forefront of instructional necessity and, in combination with emerging digital tools, offers a means to overcome barriers to instruction and assessment of multilingual pragmatics in world language contexts. Implications for teaching and research were presented.

About the speaker:
Julie Sykes earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She is the Director of CASLS and an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics. Her research focuses on applied linguistics and second language acquisition with an emphasis on technological and pedagogical innovation for interlanguage pragmatic development and intercultural competence.


CAREERS FOR LINGUISTS IN THE FBI

MLC logo

Cohosted with the M.A. in Language and Communication Program
Date: February 13, 2019, 3:30 PM
Location: Poulton Hall 240, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Presenters: Shana Semler, Chief, Language Testing and Assessment Unit, FBI; Rachel Brooks, Language Testing Specialist, FBI

The FBI is hiring! FBI linguists use their linguistic knowledge and skills to support the mission of the FBI. Contract Linguists, Contract Testers, Contract Test Raters–attendees learned about these roles and how they can apply.

 2018

ACTFL 2018 ANNUAL CONVENTION AND WORLD LANGUAGES EXPO

ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo

 Date: November 16-18, 2018
 Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
 (Pre-Convention Workshops – November 15, 2018)
ACTFL 2018 Website | ACTFL 2018 Conference Program | LRC Booth: #1807

The ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo is where language educators from around the world come to meet! This global event brings together more than 8,000 language educators from all languages, levels, and assignments. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive professional development experience that will have an impact on language educators at all levels of teaching and in turn help their students to succeed in their language learning process.

Attendees participated in the world’s most comprehensive language education meeting of the minds featuring more than 800 educational sessions in a variety of formats that focused on innovative programs, emerging trends that impact the language profession, and research-informed practices. While the exhibit hall showcased more than 250 companies exhibiting their latest products and services, it was a learning experience within itself. Here there were exhibitor sponsored workshops, the ACTFL Collab Zone, the Social Media Lounge, a Career Café, the ACTFL Confer-sation Corner, and much more.


THE CONSORTIUM ON USEFUL ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE AND HUMANITIES EDUCATION (CUALHE) 2018

Logo for the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Languages and Humanities Education

  Date: October 27-28, 2018
  Location: University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
  CUALHE 2018 Website

The Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education (CUALHE) is an inter-institutional collaborative effort that aims to share and to enhance useful assessment practices developed by college language and humanities programs and to develop a cadre of scholars who can serve as assessment experts/facilitators. The Consortium fosters a culture of reflective teaching in higher education and supports research into student learning, making useful assessment a regular part of the academic modus operandi.

The goals of the annual meeting and conference are: (a) to provide a forum for those working on outcomes assessment (and related endeavors) to present and exchange ideas, and (b) to enable strategic planning of the Consortium organization and activities.

The 2018 conference spanned two days, October 27-28, and consisted of presentations and discussions on three assessment-related strands:

  • working with standardized tests in a useful manner;
  • assessing reading/writing across the curriculum; and
  • assessment as a tool for articulation between community college and university programs.

Visit the CUALHE 2018 website for more information.


EAST COAST ORGANIZATION OF LANGUAGE TESTERS (ECOLT) CONFERENCE 2018

Blue and green letter e next to text reading ECOLT: East Coast Organization of Language Testers

Date: October 12-13, 2018
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
ECOLT Website

The East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT) represents an East Coast group of professionals, scholars, and students who are involved in language testing projects and research. One of the organization’s goals is to support connections between academia, K-12 education, government, and for-profit and not-for-profit testing organizations. In addition to providing a forum for continued learning and networking, ECOLT strongly supports the work of graduate students. The seventeenth annual conference was held on October 12-13, 2018, and was hosted by the Educational Testing Service. The theme was “Traditions of Language Testing Innovation.”

Plenary presentations included:

  • Luke Harding, Lancaster University, “Innovation and ethics: Exploring the frontiers of language assessment literacy”
  • Keelan Evanini, Educational Testing Service, “Automated spoken language assessment: Validity considerations for the use of innovative technology”

ENGLISH AS A LINGUA FRANCA AND LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

AELRC logo

A Linguistics Speaker Series Event sponsored by the AELRC
Date: October 9, 2018
Location: Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Presenter: Luke Harding, Lancaster University

English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) communication represents one of the most significant challenges to language testing and assessment since the advent of the communicative revolution. On one hand, ELF destabilises the place of the native speaker, and the notion of assessing against a “stable variety” (Jenkins & Leung, 2014, p.4). At the same time, however, research emerging from ELF studies suggests opportunities for reconceptualising and expanding language constructs. In this talk I will discuss the challenges and opportunities afforded by an English as a Lingua Franca perspective on language assessment. In the first part of the talk, I will describe the two fundamental challenges ELF presents for language assessment, and connect these with broader debates around the nature of communicative competence. I will then discuss how the language testing and assessment community has addressed the ELF challenge thus far, with examples from both scholarship and testing practice. Third, I will sketch an ELF construct for assessment purposes, and present two cases of small-scale studies which have attempted to operationalise this construct. Finally, I will discuss some new directions for research at the interface of ELF and language assessment.

Watch the full talk:


LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT RESEARCH CONFERENCE (LARC) 2018

LARC 2018 Logo

  Date: March 21-23, 2018
  Location: Iowa State University
  LARC Website

Iowa State University hosted the 2018 Language Assessment Research Conference (LARC). This conference took place March 21-23, 2018, in Ames, Iowa. LARC was being held in an effort to fill the growing need for a language assessment conference that is accessible to researchers in North America.

 2017

ACTFL 2017 ANNUAL CONVENTION AND WORLD LANGUAGES EXPO

Date: November 17-19, 2017
Location: Music City Center, Nashville, TN
(Pre-Convention Workshops – November 16, 2017)
ACTFL Website

The ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo is an international event bringing together more than 7,000 language educators from all languages, levels, and assignments. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive professional development experience that will have an impact on language educators at all levels of teaching and in turn help their students to succeed in their language learning process. Educators participate in the world’s most comprehensive language education meeting of the minds featuring more than 800 educational sessions in a variety of formats that focus on innovative programs, emerging trends that impact the language profession, and research-informed practices. While this year’s exhibit hall showcased more than 250 companies exhibiting their latest products and services, it was a learning experience within itself where attendees could find exhibitor sponsored workshops, the ACTFL Collab Zone, the Social Media Lounge, a Career Café, and an ACTFL Confer-sation Corner.


THE CONSORTIUM ON USEFUL ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE AND HUMANITIES EDUCATION (CUALHE) 2017

Logo for the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Languages and Humanities Education

Date: October 28 – 29, 2017
Location: Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 
CUALHE 2017 Website

The Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education (CUALHE) is an inter-institutional collaborative effort that aims to share and to enhance useful assessment practices developed by college language and humanities programs and to develop a cadre of scholars who can serve as assessment experts/facilitators. The aim of the Consortium to foster a culture of reflective teaching in higher education and to support research into student learning, thereby making useful assessment a regular part of the academic modus operandi.

This year’s conference spanned two days and consists of presentations and discussions on three assessment-related strands: (1) assessment of experiential learning outcomes; (2) text-based assessment in language studies programs; and (3) useful assessment of language and humanities education. The conference began with an opening luncheon on Saturday, October 28th, followed by presentations and discussion. The first day concluded with a late-afternoon keynote and dinner. Presentations and discussions continued on Sunday, October 29th. Discussions were facilitated by an invited scholar with expertise in the respective strand. The conference ended with a box lunch and a “strategy session” (optional for participants).


EAST COAST ORGANIZATION OF LANGUAGE TESTERS (ECOLT) CONFERENCE 2017

ECOLT logo

Date: October 20, 2017
Location: Georgetown University
ECOLT 2017 Website | ECOLT 2017 Conference program

The East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT) represents an East Coast group of professionals, scholars, and students who are involved in language testing projects and research. One of the organization’s goals is to support connections between academia, K-12 education, government, and for-profit and not-for-profit testing organizations. In addition to providing a forum for continued learning and networking, ECOLT strongly supports the work of graduate students. This year, the conference was titled “Language Assessment Literacy: Perspectives across Stakeholder Groups.”

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Meg Malone, Georgetown University and AELRC
Plenary Title: “Unpacking language assessment literacy: Differentiating needs of different stakeholder groups”


WORLD LANGUAGES DAY 2017

Word cloud of various languages

Date: April 20, 2017
Location: Georgetown University
World Languages Day website

The Georgetown community was invited to learn about the opportunities that world languages provide. Two panel discussions were available to learn more. The first panel featured student panelists discussing the experience and benefits of studying abroad to learn a new language. The second panel featured panelists from the greater Georgetown community, including current students and alumni with experience working for the Department of Education, the Finnish government, the World Bank, and the Georgetown Linguistics Department.

 2016

CONSORTIUM ON USEFUL ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE AND HUMANITIES EDUCATION, ANNUAL MEETING AND CONFERENCE 2016

Logo for the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Languages and Humanities Education

Date: October 7-8, 2016
Location: University of Notre Dame
CUALHE 2016 Website

The Consortium is an inter-institutional collaborative effort that aims to share and to enhance assessment practices developed by college language and humanities programs and to develop a cadre of scholars who can serve as assessment experts/facilitators. We hope to foster a culture of reflective teaching in higher education and to support research into student learning, thereby making useful assessment a regular part of the academic modus operandi.

The goals of the annual meeting and conference are: (a) to provide a forum for those working on outcomes assessment (and related endeavors) to present and exchange ideas, and (b) to enable strategic planning of the Consortium organization and activities.

Keynote speaker: Julie Sykes, University of Oregon


EAST COAST ORGANIZATION OF LANGUAGE TESTERS (ECOLT) CONFERENCE 2016

Logo for East Coast Organization of Language Testers

Date: October 28, 2016
Location: Georgetown University
ECOLT 2016 Website | ECOLT 2016 Conference Program

The East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT) represents an East Coast group of professionals, scholars, and students who are involved in language testing projects and research. One of the organization’s goals is to support connections between academia, K-12 education, government, and for-profit and not-for-profit testing organizations. In addition to providing a forum for continued learning and networking, ECOLT strongly supports the work of graduate students.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Xiaoming Xi, Educational Testing Service

Watch the full keynote address:


GURT 2016: Useful Assessment and Evaluation in Language Education 

Logo of flower for Georgetown University Round Table 2016

Date: March 11-13, 2016
Location: Georgetown University
GURT 2016 Website | GURT 2016 Conference program | GURT 2016 Photos

Theme: Assessment and evaluation offer considerable potential for helping educators understand, deliver, improve, and judge the effectiveness of language teaching, classes, and programs. On the one hand, assessment provides essential insights into the knowledge, abilities, and dispositions of language learners and users for purposes ranging from admissions and placement decisions to the provision of learning-oriented feedback to the certification of job-related proficiencies. On the other hand, program evaluation provides a framework and methodology for educators and other stakeholders to design educational experiences, illuminate how and how well they are realized, understand constraints and other factors that affect educational effectiveness, and determine the value and impact of language teaching efforts on individuals and society. The quality of assessment and evaluation processes is determined not only by their technical merit, but increasingly in light of the uses to which they are put and the consequences that ensue for language learners, educators, and others. This conference focused on the uses for assessment and evaluation in relation to language learning and teaching, with a primary emphasis on how assessments and evaluations are designed to maximize their usefulness as well as how the uses of assessment and evaluation impact a variety of stakeholders.

Keynote Speakers

Michael Kane

Michael Kane (Keynote Speaker) | Educational Testing Service

“Making assessments useful in language education or ‘fine words butter no parsnips'”


John McE. Davis

John McE. Davis | Georgetown University

Language program evaluation in contemporary language education: Current practices, future directions


Richard Kiely

Richard Kiely | University of Southampton

Developing students’ self-assessment skills: The role of the teacher


Lorena Llosa | New York University

“The relationship between language proficiency and content knowledge in the assessment of English language learners in schools”
 

 2015

East Coast Organization of Language Testers Conference 2015

Logo for East Coast Organization of Language Testers

Date: October 9, 2015
Location: Georgetown University
ECOLT 2015 Website | ECOLT 2015 Conference program

With the support of the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), Georgetown University, Second Language Testing, Inc. (SLTI),  and the Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC), the East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT) held its fourteenth annual conference on Friday, October 9th, 2015, at Georgetown University, Washington DC.

Keynote speaker: Paula Winke, Michigan State University

Watch the full keynote address:


Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education, Annual Meeting and Conference 2015

Logo for the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education 2015 conference

Date: October 10-11, 2015 (immediately following ECOLT 2015)
Location: Georgetown University
CUALHE 2015 Website | CUALHE 2015 Conference program

Theme: Outcomes assessment in support of foreign language education

Overview: The Consortium is an inter-institutional collaborative effort that aims to share and to enhance assessment practices developed by college language and humanities programs and to develop a cadre of scholars who can serve as assessment experts/facilitators. We hope to foster a culture of reflective teaching in higher education and to support research into student learning, thereby making useful assessment a regular part of the academic modus operandi. The goals of the annual meeting and conference are: (a) to provide a forum for those working on outcomes assessment (and related endeavors) to present and exchange ideas, and (b) to enable strategic planning of the Consortium organization and activities.

Keynote speaker: Judith Liskin-Gasparro, University of Iowa

Watch the full keynote address: