28 February 2017
LAEL staff in second language learning, teaching and assessment have recently been awarded four different research grants by Educational Testing Service, The British Council in Bangladesh, and Trinity College London.

Educational Testing Service, The British Council in Bangladesh, and Trinity College London are funding studies on young learner testing, on cognitive processes underlying second language performance, on listening and speaking assessment in schools, and on test delivery mode.

Project 1: Effects of individual learner differences in young learner testing
(funded by Educational Testing Service)

Judit Kormos, Tineke Brunfaut and Marije Michel explore how young adolescents’ working memory and their appraisal of test tasks influence their performance on the TOEFL Junior Comprehensive test – a test of English as a second language. The study will shed light on the effect of cognitive and affective factors on young learner testing.

Project 2: Investigating integrated and independent writing tasks
(funded by Educational Testing Service)

In this study, Marije Michel (LAEL) and Andrea Révész (University College London) use a combination of innovative methods (eye-tracking, keystroke-logging and automatic text analyses) to examine the behaviours and cognitive processes second language learners engage in while performing the TOEFL iBT integrated (reading/listening-into-writing) and independent essay writing tasks. The project will inform how cognitive processes relate to the quality of the texts second language writers produce.

Project 3: Listening and speaking assessment in schools
(funded by The British Council in Bangladesh)

In this project, Tineke Brunfaut and Rita Green investigate classroom practices on the teaching and assessment of English listening and speaking skills in upper secondary schools in Bangladesh. Insights gained from the study will help the Bangladesh Ministry of Education decide on the type of support that would be most beneficial for teachers to help them develop their learners’ English listening and speaking skills.

Project 4: Effects of delivery mode of English language tests
(funded by Trinity College London)

In this study, Tineke Brunfaut and Luke Harding investigate whether the administration of Trinity’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) exam in paper-based format versus in computer-based format has any impact on test-takers’ performances and perceptions on the exam. The study will help explore the validity and feasibility of online delivery of the ISE exam.