Date: 18 February 2010
One of the department's former PhD students, Dr. Alistair Van Moere, will be awarded with the prestigious Jacqueline Ross TOEFL Dissertation Award for his PhD thesis Group oral tests: How does task affect candidate performance and test scores?
The evaluation committee states that the thesis "provides a thorough catalogue of the factors affecting the performance of individual learners in group test settings, and thus provides a useful survey of the advantages and disadvantages of the group oral test format". The work is, among others, praised for its competent use of mixed research methods, providing contrastive perspectives. The committee considers the thesis to be "a useful resource for language testing researchers seeking to critically examine the validity of the group oral testing approach". Importantly, the committee also emphasizes the potential broader impact of Dr. Van Moere's research, since "many institutions and testing agencies currently seek to find optimally economical methods of oral proficiency assessment".
Dr. Van Moere was supervised by Charles Alderson, who, without doubt, shares the honour of the award.
This is the second year running that a former PhD student of Charles Alderson has won this award. The 2009 award went to Spiros Papageorgiou, whose dissertation was entitled Setting standards in Europe: The judges' contribution to relating language examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference.
Associated staff: J. Charles Alderson
Associated departments and research centres: Language Testing Research Group (LTRG), Linguistics and English Language