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Language assessment literacy for learning-oriented language assessment

This paper reflects on the findings of a small-scale and exploratory study which attempted to explore whether and how learning-oriented assessment opportunities might be revealed in, or inserted into formal speaking tests, order to provide language assessment literacy opportunities for language teachers teaching in test preparation courses as well as teachers training to become speaking test raters. Hamp-Lyons and Green (2014) closely studied a set of authentic speaking test video samples from the Cambridge: First (First Certificate of English) speaking test, in order to learn whether, and where, learning-oriented behaviours could be encouraged or added to interlocutors’ behaviours, without disrupting the required reliability and validity of the test. We paid particular attention to some basic components of effective interaction that we would want an examiner or interlocutor to exhibit if they seek to encourage interactive responses from test candidates: body language (in particular eye contact; intonation, pacing and pausing); management of turn-taking and elicitation of candidate-candidate interaction. We call this shift in focus to view tests as learning opportunities learning-oriented language assessment (LOLA).