Books > Learner-centred assessment

Chong, S.W. & Reinders, H. (Eds.). (2022). Learner-Centred Approaches to Language Assessment. Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming). Palgrave Macmillan.

Innovation in Japan

The book
This edited collection aims to document and evaluate authentic and innovative language assessment practices in different parts of the world. This book focuses on innovative (e.g., the use of technologies), current (e.g., COVID-proof), learner-centred language assessment practices which take place inside and outside the classroom. Submissions underpinned by the following learner-centred notions in assessment are especially welcomed e.g., assessment for learning, assessment as learning, learning-oriented assessment, alternative assessment, dynamic assessment, technology-mediated assessment, teacher/learner assessment literacy, teacher/learner feedback literacy, learning beyond the classroom. Innovation in language assessment is conceptualised as both a process and a product, so it is important for contributors to underscore not only the outcome of the assessment but also the process of developing the assessment and/or evaluating the assessment (e.g., using innovative research methods).To adhere to the international and inclusive scope of this book, assessments on any languages in formal contexts (primary education, secondary education, further education, higher education), non-formal contexts (e.g., private language schools/language tutoring, language MOOCs), or informal contexts (e.g., self-study, student-led study groups) are welcome.

This book targets primarily language teachers around the world and researchers interested in classroom language assessment and practitioner research. Its aim is to bridge the gap between language assessment research and practice. Given this focus, the editors of this collection especially welcome submissions from classroom teachers, instructional designers, or researchers who work with teachers to develop innovative language assessment practices. Another strand of submissions relevant to the objective of this book is research synthesis focusing on synthesising existing research and practices on formative language assessment. There is no restriction on the types of research synthesis accepted; these could include qualitative research synthesis, meta-analysis, research-into-practice, critical review, overview, scoping review, mixed review, bibliometric review, historical review, etc.

This book contains three main sections based on the three types of educational contexts: formal language assessments, non-formal language assessments, and informal language assessments. Following the description in the previous paragraph, chapters included in each of these sections are either practitioner research or research synthesis. Regardless of the type of submissions, contributors need to underscore the relevance of research to language assessment practices. To make the focus on bridging the research-practice nexus more explicit, contributors will be asked to outline (approx. 50 words), at the outset of each chapter: (1) the assessment theory informing the design of language assessment task; (2) the assessment philosophy of the researchers/teachers (e.g., the decision to adopt a particular assessment theory or orientation); (3) the assessment practice (i.e., a brief description of the assessment in action and the innovation process). Each chapter should also end with a “practice brief” from the contributors (approx. 100 words), sharing some tips with other language teachers should they consider implementing the assessment example in their own classrooms or contexts. As part of the brief, contributors will also be encouraged to include artefacts of the reported practices for readers (many of them will be language teachers) to use or adapt.

This book is distinctive from other existing books on language assessment because it fills an important gap on the continuum of research-focused and practice-focused titles on language assessment and testing. On the research end of the continuum, existing titles focus on the current research landscape on language assessment and adopt an issue-based approach (e.g., assessment literacy, washback effect discussed in Al-Mahrooqi et al., 2017). Publications focusing on language assessment practices provide a step-by-step guide for teachers to design effective language assessment, focusing broadly on both classroom assessments and language tests (e.g., Bachman & Damböck, 2018). Neither of these books focus explicitly on language assessment innovations and formative language assessment practices nor do they emphasise the link between research and practice through alternative forms of research (i.e., practitioner research, research synthesis). Most of the existing titles focus on English language (ESL or EFL) as the target of assessment.