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Past CAL Presentations

American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2011 Conference

Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers
March 26 - 29, 2011
Chicago, IL

Visit the conference website.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ecological Perspectives on Language Endangerment: Applying the Sustainable Use Model for Language Development
The Sustainable Use Model and Expanded GIDS will be presented in introductory talks. Specific applications will be shared from Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malaysia followed by a summary. Donna Christian from CAL has agreed to serve as a respondent. Ample time will be given for questions, answers and discussion.

Discussant: Donna Christian
8:15 - 11:15 am

Sheraton Chicago: Michigan A

Assessment of Heritage Language Learners: Issues and Directions
This paper identifies the major issues involved in the assessment of heritage language learner (HLLs) proficiency in the heritage language. Drawing from the research, the paper seeks new definitions for HLLs, identifies current issues for assessing HLLs, and recommends approaches for developing assessment measures for HLLs.

Presenters include Margaret Malone and Joy Peyton
3:10 3:40 pm
Sheraton Chicago: Huron

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Promoting Oral Proficiency Gain in Study Abroad: A Pilot Study (poster session)
This poster presents the methodology and results of a pilot study of training designed to promote oral proficiency gain in study abroad home stay placements. Students and their host families were trained in strategies to increase meaningful conversational exchange. Students were administered a semi-direct oral proficiency test at the beginning and end of the program. A subset of students also taped dinner conversations with their host families before and after the training. Student proficiency test responses and dinner conversations were analyzed for specific linguistic features consistent with the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines Speaking (ACTFL, 1999).

Presenters: Francesca Di Silvio and Margaret Malone
8:50 - 11:50 am
Sheraton Chicago: Chicago Ballroom 8

Monday, March 28, 2011

Developing Assessment Resources for Students and Instructors of Arabic
This paper describes the research methodology and progress made toward developing two oral proficiency assessment resources for Arabic programs at the secondary and post-secondary levels and the ways that student and instructor feedback is shaping resource development. The first resource is a program that provides oral proficiency rater training to instructors of Arabic. The second is an online introduction to oral proficiency principles and a self-assessment training program for students of Arabic. Research methodology includes the use of online surveys, focus groups, and cognitive laboratories conducted at various institutions of higher education and public high schools to inform the development and revision of program content and technological interfaces.

Presenters: Katherine Riestenberg, Francesca Di Silvio, Margaret Malone
8:15 - 8:45 am
Sheraton Chicago: Huron

Triangulating Summative Assessment Results in Short-term Language Programs
This paper describes a pilot study on the efficacy of and relationship among three different summative assessments for intensive, short-term language programs. A learner self-assessment, a teacher retrospective assessment, and an external, computerized proficiency assessment were used to measure the progress of high school students learning Arabic and Chinese. In addition, classroom observations and interviews with teachers and students were conducted to provide qualitative data.

Presenters include Katherine Riestenberg and Margaret Malone
10:10 - 10:40 am
Sheraton Chicago: Huron

Using Cognitive Interviewing with English Learners: Challenges and Recommendations
This study examines the development of cognitive interviewing materials to explore how listening and reading items on a large-scale English proficiency test functioned with English learners. We report on the cognitive interview methods that were used and, using video data, show how these methods influenced the nature of interviews.

Presenters: Laura Wright, Stephanie Gibson, Daniel Ginsberg
11:20 - 11:50 am
Sheraton Chicago: Huron

The Role of the Native Language in the Literacy Development of Latino Students in the U.S
Findings from a literacy project conducted with Spanish-speaking middle school students in the U.S. indicate that knowledge of Spanish vocabulary is a significant predictor of reading comprehension in English, thus highlighting the role of the native language in the academic development of Latino students in the U.S.

Presenter: Igone Arteagoitia
2:00 - 2:30 pm
Sheraton Chicago: Superior B

Methodology for the Development of Specifications for an Oral Proficiency Test
This poster describes the development of specifications for a semi-direct oral proficiency test. Specifications were reverse-engineered from operational tests in two languages (Spanish and Arabic) to facilitate test development in additional languages. The poster presents methodology used to develop specifications and procedures for item writing, content and cultural review, and banking of final items. Presenters will emphasize the iterative process of test specification development and discuss lessons learned and next steps including item piloting.

Presenters include Anne Donovan and Margaret Malone
2:00 - 5:00pm
Sheraton Chicago: Chicago Ballroom 8

Examining Linguistic and Pictorial Test Item Bias and Sensitivity Issues in Best-Plus, a Computer Adaptive Adult ESL Proficiency Assessment
The paper reviews different approaches to the elimination of linguistic and pictorial test item bias and sensitivity issues and presents a rationale for choosing one approach. Examples are drawn from the development of items for a computer-adaptive test of oral language proficiency. Limitations of the approach are also discussed.

Presenter: Daniel Lieberson
3:10 3:40 pm
Sheraton Chicago: Huron

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