The challenges of providing expert advice in policy contexts
Ute Knoch, University of Melbourne
Volume 10, Issue 1, 2021
Abstract: Language testers can have various roles in relation to the use of language tests and policy. One such role may be to provide expert advice in policy formation or policy review contexts. Such instances are often not documented systematically, as advice may be provided in informal or closed meetings, or confidential documents, which are not available to the public. The challenges associated with providing such advice are also rarely recorded. In this paper, I describe three instances in which the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC) at the University of Melbourne was invited to provide external policy advice. I specifically reflect on what prompted the invitations, what advice we were asked to provide, the complexity of providing advice in each instance, and whether the advice was taken up by the policy makers. The paper reflects on some of the common threads and concludes with implications for training new language testers.
Keywords: policy advice, policy formation, invited expertise