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Crossing Boundaries

Studies in English Language, Literature, and Culture in a Global Environment

Edited By Richard Nordquist

The articles in this volume were originally presented in spring 2009 at an international conference hosted by the Institute of Germanic and Romance Languages and Cultures at Tallinn University in Estonia. The theme of «crossing boundaries» is reflected in the rich mix of genres, cultures, applications, and critical theories considered here. Indeed, these articles demonstrate that crossing boundaries can be a companionable journey as well an intellectually enriching experience.


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Dmitri Leontjev - Applying Results from Second Language Acquisition Research to Diagnosing Language Proficiency with a Computer Adaptive System - 47


47 Dmitri Leontjev APPLYING RESULTS FROM SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION RESEARCH TO DIAGNOSING LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY WITH A COMPUTER ADAPTIVE SYSTEM The aim of the paper is to give an overview of a study centred on compiling and evaluating a diagnostic computer adaptive test (CAT) that assesses learners’ writ- ing skills in terms of what they can and cannot do in English. The linguistic fea- tures to be assessed in the test will mostly be based on the findings of CEFLING project, which examines second language acquisition (SLA) across the Common European Framework levels and tries to find out which combinations of linguistic features characterise each level. The study will, then, operationalise these key findings by designing, and trying out a computerised system that diagnoses lan- guage proficiency in terms of overall level as well as a detailed profile of strengths and weaknesses. The aim is to discover what features characterise a diagnostic test based on SLA research, and whether computer-adaptive testing is a rational basis for such a test. Research questions include, e.g.: Which outcomes of SLA re- search lend themselves to be used for diagnosing proficiency in writing English? How could a computer adaptive diagnostic language test based on SLA research be designed? What are the effects of giving feedback at different points of the test? How could the test be integrated into the teaching and learning process? The test design uses an innovative approach, especially when it comes to the way in which the system adapts the presentation of...

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