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MA Language Testing and Programme Evaluation

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  • Objectives
    This graduate programme provides students with the opportunity to: Become familiar with current theories and developments in language testing within contemporary applied linguistics; Gain a thorough grounding in both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the evaluation of language teaching programmes informed by developments in applied linguistics and education; Achieve both practical and theoretical knowledge of major approaches in language assessment and programme evaluation; Develop the necessary methodological and analytical skills to design, elicit and critically evaluate language ability and use; and to collect, analyse, interpret and present empirical and other information to be used in the evaluation of language programmes; Critically evaluate language testing and programme evaluation procedures, frameworks and innovations; develop a critical appreciation of primary literature in the field; Undertake an original piece of individual research; Acquire a wide range of general research abilities and methods as well as transferable cognitive skills, practical skills and key skills; Acquire a foundation for further study, employment and life-long learning.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Qualifications A good BA honours (or equivalent) degree (2:1 or above). For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS score of 6.5, or a TOEFL score of 580 (computer based 230). A minimum of two years' experience of language teaching or testing is normally required.
  • Academic Title
    MA Language Testing and Programme Evaluation
  • Course description

    Course Description
    The MA in Language Testing and Programme Evaluation focuses on both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the evaluation of language teaching programmes, and enables students to develop skills in designing and evaluating language tests.

    Modules and Options

    The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.

    Stage 1

        ACQUISITION OF SECOND LANGUAGE PHONOLOGY
        APPROACHES TO SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
        BLACK ENGLISHES
        CHILDREN'S ENGLISH
        Compulsory: ASSIGNMENT WRITING AND DISSERTATION PREPARATION
        Compulsory: COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TESTING
        Compulsory: FOUNDATIONS OF LANGUAGE FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS
        Compulsory: FURTHER QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN LANGUAGE STUDY
        Compulsory: LANGUAGE PROGRAMME EVALUATION
        Compulsory: LANGUAGE TESTING
        Compulsory: NON-EXPERIMENTAL QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
        COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS I
        COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS II
        COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING: THEORY, RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
        CONSTRAINT BASED PHONOLOGY
        CONVERSATION AND SOCIAL INTERACTION
        Core: DISSERTATION: MA
        CORPORA IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
        CULTURE IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING
        DESCRIPTIVE SYNTAX
        DESIGN OF LANGUAGE TEACHING PROGRAMMES AND MATERIALS FOR YOUNG LEARNERS
        DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE PROCESSING
        DEVELOPMENTAL LANGUAGE DISORDERS
        DEVELOPMENTAL SECOND LANGUAGE SYNTAX
        DISCOURSE AND LANGUAGE TEACHING
        ELT PROFESSIONAL CONCERNS
        ENGLISH PHONOLOGY
        ENGLISH SYNTAX
        EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND ANALYSIS
        FOUNDATIONS OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING
        FOUNDATIONS OF ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES
        FOUNDATIONS OF INTERCULTURAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION
        FOUNDATIONS OF LINGUISTICS
        GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
        GRAMMATICAL DEVELOPMENT IN FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD LANGUAGE LEARNERS
        INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN L2 LEARNING
        INPUT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING
        INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS
        INTRODUCTION TO HEAD-DRIVEN PHRASE STRUCTURE GRAMMAR
        INTRODUCTION TO LEXICAL FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR
        LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND THE CRITICAL PERIOD
        LANGUAGE AND GENDER
        LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN ADULTS
        LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN CLASSROOMS
        LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION
        LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN CLASSROOMS
        LANGUAGE TEACHING
        LEARNER AUTONOMY
        LEARNER PERSPECTIVES ON VOCABULARY
        LEARNER STRATEGIES AND METALINGUISTIC KNOWLEDGE: EXPLICIT ASPECTS OF L2 LEARNING
        LEXICAL CHANGE IN THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH
        LITERACY DEVELOPMENT AND TEACHING OF READING TO YOUNG LEARNERS
        MATERIALS DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
        MATERIALS EVALUATION
        MINIMALISM SYNTAX II
        MINIMALIST SYNTAX I
        MORPHOLOGY
        MULTILINGUALISM
        PEDAGOGICAL GRAMMAR
        PHILOSOPHY OF LINGUISTICS
        PHONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND PHONOLOGICAL DISORDERS
        PHONOLOGICAL THEORY AND SECOND LANGUAGE PHONOLOGY
        PIDGIN AND CREOLE LANGUAGES
        PRAGMATICS: DISCOURSE AND RHETORIC
        PROLOG I
        PROLOG II
        QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING/APPLIED LINGUISITICS RESEARCH
        RELEVANCE THEORY
        RESEARCH TOPICS IN ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES
        RESEARCHING WRITING IN EFL/ESL
        SEMANTICS
        SENTENCE PROCESSING
        SOCIOLINGUISTIC METHODS I
        SOCIOLINGUISTIC METHODS II
        SOCIOLINGUISTICS I
        SOCIOLINGUISTICS II
        SOCIOPHONOLOGY
        SOCIOPHONOLOGY RESEARCH
        SYLLABUS DESIGN
        TEACHING PRACTICE I
        TEACHING PRACTICE II
        TEACHING WRITING IN EFL/ESL
        TEACHING, LISTENING AND SPEAKING
        THE MENTAL LEXICON
        THEORETICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE PHONOLOGY
        TOPICS IN HEAD-DRIVEN PHRASE STRUCTURE GRAMMAR
        TOPICS IN LEXICAL FUNCITIONAL GRAMMAR
        TOPICS IN PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION
        VARIATION IN ARABIC 1
        VARIATION IN ARABIC II
        VARIATION IN ENGLISH I
        VARIATION IN ENGLISH II
        VERB MEANING AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE

    Teaching and Assessment Methods
      
    A: Knowledge and Understanding
        Learning Outcomes
        A1 : Familiarity with current theories and developments in language testing as well as with major language proficiency tests
        A2 : Understanding of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to language programme evaluation as well as familiarity with international case studies
        A3 : Practical and theoretical knowledge of major approaches within language testing and language programme evaluation
        A4 : Knowledge of key concepts, issues, ideas, theories, competing paradigms and research methods within the fields of language testing and language programme evaluation
        A5 : Knowledge of methods and tools employed in contemporary language testing and programme evaluation work to collect, analyse, interpret and present data/information
        A6 : Familiarity with recent approaches to the description and the nature of language

        Teaching Methods
        A1-6 are addressed in lectures, as well as seminar, class and tutorial discussion. Web and instructional course materials, including library and internet materials are used to achieve A1, A2, A3, A4 and A6. There is also office and email consultation with staff, as well as written and oral feedback on work.

        Assessment Methods
        A1-6 are assessed by written coursework in the form of essays (usually a 3000 word essay per course) and exercises. The dissertation is instrumental in the achievement of A3 and A5, being the most significant form of assessment with respect to the knowledge and understanding acquired in the taught part of the course.

    B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        B1 : Critically evaluate contrasting theories/ accounts/explanations/approaches to language testing and language programme evaluation
        B2 : Abstract and synthesise information from a range of sources (lectures/seminars/classes, journals, books, internet, etc.) identifying central concepts and findings
        B3 : Make relevant observations and generalisations about language proficiency (or language programme effectiveness) and analyse and interpret relevant types of behaviour, qualitative and quantitative data, (including language tests and programme materials) using appropriate methodologies
        B4 : Critically evaluate a variety of language testing formats and language programme evaluation procedures
        B5 : Relate professional experience and knowledge of concepts and procedures in language description, language testing and programme evaluation to the solution of real-world problems in language testing and programme evaluation

        Teaching Methods
        B1-5 are developed in seminars, classes and tutorials. B2 is developed in directed reading of library and internet materials, as well as printed instructional course materials. There is also office and email consultation with staff, as well as written and oral feedback on work.

        Assessment Methods
        B1-5 are assessed by written coursework in the form of essays (usually a 3000 word essay per course) and exercises. In its development of advanced intellectual and cognitive skills, the dissertation is central in assessing B2 and B5.

    C: Practical Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        C1 : retrieve and collate information from a variety of sources (e.g. library, WWW, informants)
        C2 : utilise techniques and tools relevant to the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of information/data on the effectiveness of language programmes and the assessment of an individual's language ability
        C3 : design a test to elicit and rate effectively a sample of language ability
        C4 : apply an evaluation framework to evaluate a language programme or innovation
        C5 : propose, plan, undertake, write up and present an independent survey or report (e.g. on research undertaken individually or in collaboration with others, or on a case study), with a minimum of guidance

        Teaching Methods
        Throughout the scheme practical skills C1-5 are developed through independent learning in preparation for classes, seminars, essays and presentations. In particular, these skills are mobilised in preparation for tutorials for the dissertation. Office and email consultation with staff, as well as written/oral feedback on work is provided through both the coursework and dissertation phases of the degree.

        Assessment Methods
        Coursework and essays play an important part in the assessment of all skills C1-5. It is in the marking of the dissertation, however, that these skills - in particular C3 and C5 -become particularly salient.

    D: Key Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        D1 : Communicating complex ideas effectively in writing, writing essays, reports and reviews using the appropriate register and style.
        D2 : Using advanced computational tools and software packages to obtain, store and process information stored in electronic form (e.g. from the Library, WWW or CD-rom), and (where appropriate) to analyse data and results
        D3 : Under guidance, interpreting complex statistical information presented in the form of diagrams, tables and graphs
        D4 : Analysing and interpreting complex data-sets or behaviour, abstracting insightful generalisations and proposing solutions or assisting decision making
        D6 : Under guidance, working independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management in tackling and solving complex problems

        Teaching Methods
        The key skills, D1, D2, D4 and D6 are taught throughout the scheme in preparation for lectures, sminars, tutorials and coursework assignments. Oral presentations in class may also be sued to develop skills of oral communication in parallel with D1; students are also encouraged to collaborate with others to achieve common goals, e.g. in project planning, management and presentation. Seminars and tutorials are used to develop D3 and D4. There is also office and email consultation with staff, as well as written/oral feedback on work.

        Assessment Methods
        Coursework essays are used in the development of all key skills D1 to D4 and D6. Coursework exercises specifically develop D3 and D4. The dissertation constitutes and overall assessment of these skills in judging communication, problem solving and independent learning.

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