Freitag, 10.30 Uhr: Prof. Dr. Christian Krekeler

Language Assessment and Languages for Specific Purposes – A Match Made in Heaven?

How should the Deutsche Flugsicherung assess the language competence of prospective air traffic controllers? How do we know whether a solicitor is able to submit a claim to the European Court of Justice? How can universities ensure that students' proficiency in the target language enables them to study mechanical engineering? A number of language tests have been developed to address such issues. English Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communication (ELPAC), Test of Legal English skills (TOLES), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or TestDaF.

However, such tests use very different approaches, and there is some disagreement amongst language testing experts about the usefulness of language for specific purposes (LSP) tests. This presentation will explore the two sides of the argument which mainly centres around the question of validity. On the one hand, it is argued that such assessments contain a threat to validity ('construct irrelevant variance'). On the other, that they hold the promise of a high degree of validity (background knowledge as part of specific language purpose ability).

Another important point to consider is the question of specificity. While some LSP tests are very specific, others are similar to general language tests. This has consequences for test use.

The presentation will also deal with practical aspects of LSP testing: What needs to be considered when constructing specific purpose language assessments?


Freitag, 17.15 Uhr: Dr. Neus Figueras Casanovas

The Assessment of Speaking and the Commen European Framework for Languages

The action-oriented approach to language use proposed in the CEFR (2001) reflected, to a considerable extent, the views of spoken discourse analysts,  who described spoken language as a picture of "dynamism, fluidity, variability, mixing and negotiation" (McCarthy:1998). However, and despite the obvious impact of the CEFR in language policies  after its publication, the changes in the teaching, the learning and the assessment of the spoken language  are yet to be documented. This session will revise and problematise issues that may not yet have been addressed in the field of teaching and assessing speaking, and will explore possible ways of doing so.

Samstag, 9 Uhr: Dr. Johann Fischer

Auf die produktiven Fertigkeiten kommt es an! –
Plädoyer für handlungsorientiertes Sprachtesten

In diesem Beitrag wird die Bedeutung der produktiven Fertigkeiten bei der Sprachkompetenz, und somit auch beim Sprachtesten, hervorgehoben, bevor Probleme bei standardisierten Sprachtestverfahren zum mündlichen Ausdruck veranschaulicht und Alternativen aufgezeigt werden. Es wird weiterhin ein Konzept für handlungsorientierte Testverfahren vorgestellt, wie dies von der UNIcert-Kommission entworfen und im Rahmen des GULT-Projektes ("Guidelines for Task-Based University LSP Testing", ein Projekt des Europäischen Fremdsprachenzentrums des Europarates in Graz) weiter entwickelt wurde.

Anschließend werden Probleme bei der Bewertung der produktiven Fertigkeiten diskutiert und mögliche Bewertungsraster vorgestellt, bevor auf die Bewertung der rezeptiven Fertigkeiten bei einem derartigen Konzept eingegangen wird.