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2017 Conf. - Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries: Challenges to Construct Defin. in ESP/LSP Assessment
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In language for specific purposes (LSP) assessment practice, the LSP test construct has been primarily situated within the principles and perspectives of the testing field. But the LSP construct also represents the values of other fields of practice and serves social purposes in the construction of public standards and normative models of language use. This colloquium challenges the notion of the LSP construct as primarily accountable as an assessment phenomenon through papers that explore such questions as the following:

• How does the LSP construct represent the values and genres of a professional or academic field? What are the issues that govern selection among a rich and varied set of possibilities?
• How do new frameworks of language use, such as translanguaging, impact the testing construct by emphasizing multiple modalities and multiplicities of language use?
• How are test scores and the constructs they represent used by different score user communities in the construction of public policy, especially in the notions of “licensing” and “readiness?”

The papers in the colloquium reference a variety of disciplines in real-world high-stakes assessment contexts such as the licensing of teachers, accountants, engineers and health professionals in Australia and the UK; a translanguaged French/English listening test task for professors in a bilingual Canadian university; and professional acculturation for students in an architecture design studio.

Discussants from outside the field of language testing explore the social and ideological uses of the LSP construct as well as the evolving framework of language for specific purposes within applied linguistics.
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