English-speaking universities have tended to use standardised English language tests such as IELTS and TOEFL for selection and gatekeeping purposes when recruiting international students.
In this talk Professor Constant Leung will first examine the established approach to language modelling that underpins the ‘big tests’. He will suggest that in the light of recent research in English as a Lingua Franca and academic literacies, there is an urgent need to broaden and extend the construct of academic English.
In the final part he will discuss some possible alternative approaches that would take better account of the diverse and complex nature of academic English in different institutional and disciplinary contexts.
Constant Leung is Professor of Educational Linguistics in the School of Education, Communication and Society, King’s College London. His research interests include:
- additional/second language teaching and assessment
- language policy
- teacher professional development
He is joint-editor of Language Assessment Quarterly, Editor of Research Issues of TESOL Quarterly, and serves as a member of the Editorial Boards of Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, Language and Education, and the Modern Language Journal. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK).
His work in developing the English as an Additional Language Assessment Framework for schools (The Bell Foundation) has won the 2018 British Council ELTons international award for innovation.