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Academic language proficiency: Test scores and communicative purposes (a validation project)

Project #: 83
Name: Barbara Hoekje and Reese Heitner (hoekje@drexel.edu; 215-895-2067)
Department: Culture and Communication
Academic Area: Communication/ESL/Linguistics

Title: Academic language proficiency: Test scores and communicative purposes (a validation project)

Description:
This project continues ongoing research into the nature of academic language proficiency developed by international students who are enrolled in the Gateway program. The project has a number of branches of research, including the relationship of test scores to productive language use and the relationship of non-academic language (social, interactional) to academic language proficiency.

Associated Independent Study:
The independent study can be offered in Summer or Fall term. It will include reading about the nature of second language development and standardized testing measurement.

Gained Experience:
The student will gain experience in the emerging area of second language communicative competence, its measurement, and issues related to standardized testing and its use in admissions. Particular skills developed will include interviewing (qualitative research methodology) and quantitative management of score data.

Outcome:
This is part of ongoing work in collecting data as part of a program validation study which has resulted in conference presentations for prior humanities fellow at the Drexel research fair and an external professional conference. The expected output of this project is an internal report and proposal for conference presentation.

Tasks:
The student will be collecting post-program interview data, including potentially doing interviews, and will be compiling quantitative data from various sources.

Location:
English Language Center in the Language & Communication Building, 229 N. 33rd Street

Meetings:
Schedule to be mutually arranged; regular office day time hours on most days but some flexibility for independent hours.

Interview Availability: March 5, March 6, March 7