Caitlin Gdowski is a Language Assessment Specialist at the Center for Applied Linguistics. As a member of the Language Assessment Division, she primarily contributes to test development activities for the ACCESS for ELLs English proficiency assessment in collaboration with WIDA. Caitlin revises test specification documents and works with educators to develop and refine content for the exam. Her focus is on developing content for students in grades 6-8 and 9-12.
Before joining CAL, Caitlin was a Research Technician at the University of Michigan English Language Institute (now Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments). As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan (2011-13), Caitlin taught English to middle school students. She earned a BA in Linguistics and a BA in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Michigan and an MA in English Language Teaching (specializing in Testing and Assessment) from the University of Warwick.
This short Q&A aims to provide insight into how test development and psychometric researchers at CAL identify biased items and prevent sensitive topics from appearing on CAL’s language proficiency assessments.