Assessment is a key responsibility of EAP teachers, and yet, few EAP practitioners are confident about their knowledge and skills in assessment.
As Schmitt and Hamp-Lyons (2015:3) point out, “Most of the assessment work of EAP practitioners is hidden away and thus contributes little to theory-building or wider understandings of EAP assessment in practice. This results in the construct of EAP in EAP assessment being under-defined and under-theorized.”
Knowledge of the research into the contexts, needs, texts and tasks that learners encounter in their education, such as textbooks, lectures, conference presentations, videos on academic material, seminars, and interactions with academic staff is key to the development of good quality EAP assessment; but knowledge of the practical options for test/assessment development and of the research in language assessment are also key.
The processes of bringing these sets of knowledge and skills together in order to create an EAP assessment for a specific context are more complex than probably anyone realises until they try to do it!
In this lecture, Professor Liz Hamp-Lyons from CRELLA (Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment) will illustrate some aspects of an EAP assessment development process. She will argue that since it is EAP practitioners who devise and administer most of the EAP assessment going on around the world, the development of EAP assessment theory should not be left in the hands of language testers.