The East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT) is pleased to announce its fourteenth annual conference. Please save the date and plan on attending this informative, interactive conference.
Click here to visit the conference website.
Friday, October 9, 2015
Georgetown University, Washington DC
ECOLT 2015 Plenary Speaker
Paula Winke, PhD
Associate Professor, Michigan State University
Investigations into Language Assessment Using Eye Tracking Methods
Eye trackers are common research tools in psychology and cognitive science that are used to inspect participants’ focal attention (with attention often gauged by the amount of time spent fixating or looking at something), especially when cognitively complex tasks are given (e.g., reading). The justification of eye-tracking data is grounded on the assumption that there is a strong association between eye movement and the human mind (Just & Carpenter, 1980; Pollatsek, Reichle, & Rayner, 2006), which is often referred to as the “eye-mind link” (Reichle, Pollatsek, & Rayner, 2006, p. 4) in cognitive science research.
In this presentation, I showcase how eye trackers can provide valuable information about language tests. By recording test takers’ eye movements while they take tests, researchers can better understand the test takers’ thought processes and their test-taking strategies and/or experiences. By recording the eye movements of test scorers (i.e., raters), researchers can uncover information about the construct-irrelevant variance that normally accompanies subjectively-scored tests.
Paula Winke is an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics and Languages at Michigan State University, where she also directs the Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching Program. She teaches language testing and language teaching methods. Her research interests include language assessment, L2 aptitude, and task-based language teaching and testing. She is the President of the Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT) and is a member of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners, a standing committee of the TOEFL Board.