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BALEAP Workshop: Item writing for language tests

8th December 2017 @ 1:00pm - 5:00pm


For BALEAP members, this event is discounted to £15. Please log in here with the details that were used to purchase membership (institutional or individual). If you would like to become an individual member now, please sign up here.

This event is now full, but you can add your name to the waiting list below, and we will notify you if more places become available. There will be further workshops in other locations around the country, so please keep checking back.


We invite you to INTO Newcastle University for a workshop on EAP assessment facilitated by John Slaght (Reading University) and Philip Nathan (Durham University).

The aim of this workshop is for participants to consider a definition of EAP assessment and then to focus on the creation of tests of reading and listening. Finally, there will be a session on dealing with language test results. It is envisaged that there will be breakout sessions and plenary discussions. In the interests of collaboration it is hoped that participants will engage in full discussion and exchange of ideas stimulated by the programme below. Participants are encouraged to bring short samples of their assessment practice for general discussion.

The proposed breakdown is:

Session 1:  defining EAP assessment through a discussion of:

  • types of EAP tests and other assessment measures including examples from participants
  • how many tests are needed
  • testing language knowledge
  • creating specifications – avoiding taboo topics

Session 2: a discussion of specific skills

  • item types: what they test; advantages/disadvantages
  • testing EAP reading
  • text types for Academic reading – text searching – adapting texts
  • lexical frequencies
  • using texts for tests of writing (reading or listening for authentic purpose)


Session 3: a discussion of listening tests

  • item types: what they test: advantages/disadvantages
  • can note-taking be tested
  • whether to listen once or more than once

Session 4:  a discussion of what’s involved before and after test administration

  • what validity and reliability mean for the EAP teacher
  • an approach to benchmarking
  • test security

John Slaght is Associate Professor of Second Language Testing at the University of Reading. He has been involved in language testing for many years. John has run language testing workshops internally and at other HE institutions both in the UK and overseas on a number of occasions. John is the author of 2 textbooks on Academic Reading and co-author of a further two further titles on Academic Study and Research Skills. His career includes 15 years working in Zambia and the Middle East.

Philip Nathan lectures in Assessment and Evaluation at Durham University. He has worked as an EAP tutor and lecturer for more than 20 years, designing a range of EAP and academic writing assessment. He is a member of the BALEAP Testing Working Party and a co-author of the BALEAP Assessment Guidelines for University Entry.


8th December 2017
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Category: