Associate professor angela scarino
Expanding language assessment practices: the possibilities and challenges of assessing the interpretation and exchange of meaning in language learning in the context of linguistic and cultural diversity
Globalisation is changing the very nature of multilingualism and of language, culture and language learning. These changes call for (1) an expansion of the goals of language learning to include both communication and an understanding of the act of meaning making and exchange in communication and (2) a more sophisticated understanding of the processes of language learning as interlinguistic and intercultural. These changes have important implications for assessment. In this paper I discuss the nature of the theoretical expansion and the possibilities and challenges that it poses for language assessment. Drawing on case studies from research with teachers of diverse languages K-12, I will discuss the need for assessment practices that recognise and support an understanding of communication and language learning as interpretive.