ITT Lecture Dorry Kenyon
The First Annual ITT Lecture of 2018 took place in Leipzig on May 17, 2018.
We were very pleased to welcome Dr. Dorry Kenyon (Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), Washington, D.C.), who spoke about “The Scripted Oral Interview: Can Technology and Advanced Psychometrics Improve its Potential?”
I begin this talk by reviewing the history of scripted oral language assessments (i.e., oral language tests in which the administrator is given what to say from a script), going back to 1970’s. In particular, I focus on the Basic English Skills Test (BEST), originally developed in the 1980’s by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) for immigrant and refugee adults learning survival-level English. I then describe work at CAL to use technology and advanced psychometrics to make the use of a technologically-mediated, psychometrically-advanced scripted interview more robust and practical. I illustrate this approach using the current BEST Plus, which has been operational since 2006 and is administered over 1 million times per year to adult English language learners in the U.S. I continue my talk with plans for the next generation, BEST Plus 3.0, currently being piloted and field tested, describing issues this new generation of the assessment is addressing both from the technology perspective and the psychometric perspective. I conclude my talk with reflections on some of the potential benefits and challenges of this approach to oral proficiency assessment.