- Tuesday 4 - Wednesday 5 July, 2023, 2pm - 3.30pm
- Hillary Place Coach House Seminar Room
- External URL
Few studies have investigated how the predictive power of IELTS scores for academic outcomes could be affected by subject tutors’ expectations of disciplinary writing and the provision of language and learning support for PGTs. Consequently, few attempts have been made to bridge these dimensions to support PGT students.
With Professor Bee Bond as Discussant - Dr Huahui Zhao and Dr Yen Dang present on this two-year research project, jointly funded by the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia, which examines the predictive power of IELTS scores for PGT assessment performance and explores how it is affected by:
• Language demands of disciplinary writing, revealed by wordlists in IELTS written scripts and PGT assignments, and subject tutors’ feedback on PGT assignments
• The affordance of language, learning, and assessment support for PGT students.
Multiple datasets were collected and analysed, from which we created:
• IELTS corpora from 400 IELTS writing scripts provided by Cambridge Assessment
• PGT writing corpora from over 230 assessed scripts from the School of Education
• PGT teacher feedback corpora from the tutor feedback on these scripts
We employed varied corpus-driven analyses to reveal:
• The wordlists in IELTS writing scripts and PGT written assignments across bands
• The nature, focus and frequency of teacher feedback on written proficiency in PGT assignments across bands
We then adopted varied statistical analyses to establish regression models to capture:
• which IELTS scores...
• which combined scores of original IELTS scores (e.g. combined reading and writing scores)...
• what teacher feedback on written proficiency...
• what language, learning and assessment support (including pre-sessional and in-sessional language support, library support, subject tutors’ assessment support and educational technology)...
...predict postgraduate assignment marks and the final grade for PGT degrees and how powerful they are. We also utilised quantitative and qualitative comparative analyses to explain how IELTS and subject tutors’ expectations of PGT writing differ from each other. The conversation will be wrapped with implications for how IELTS and language, learning, and assessment support should be reshaped to meet the needs of written proficiency for PGT studies.
Dr Huahui Zhao is a Lecturer in Language Education in the School of Education, University of Leeds. She has led varied funded projects on bridging high-stakes English proficiency tests and assessments in undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and students’ and subject tutors’ experience of assessment and assessment criteria in higher education. She has published in prestigious journals in education including Learning and Instruction, Assessing Writing, ELT Journal, British Journal of Educational Technology, Teaching in Higher Education and Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. She is the Principal investigator for the project: Unveiling the factors for the predictive validity of IELTS for postgraduate studies: assessment, teaching and learning in the TLU domain.
Dr Yen Dang is a Lecturer in Language Education at the School of Education, University of Leeds. Her research interests include vocabulary studies, corpus linguistics, and English for Academic Purposes. Her articles have been published in various journals (e.g., Applied Linguistics, Language Learning, TESOL Quarterly, Language Teaching Research, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, and English for Specific Purposes). She is the co-investigator for the project: Unveiling the factors for the predictive validity of IELTS for postgraduate studies: assessment, teaching and learning in the TLU domain.
Professor Bee Bond, Professor of English for Academic Purposes and Deputy Director of the Language Centre is the Discussant for this presentation.