The ITT is involved both directly and indirectly (e.g. through the work of its members) in the management, design and organization of various events.




These events include expert symposiums, such as the ACTFL-CEFR symposiums that were held between 2010 and 2013 on finding correspondences between the North American Proficiency Framework and the Common European Framework of Reference, and conferences, such as the 2013 conference on ability profiles for academic language (“Bildungssprachliche Kompetenzprofile”) as well as workshops on the research-based testing and test development and continuing education programs on assessment literacy.


Symposia & Conferences




Key to Academic Success: Promoting and Evaluating Language Skills.


The symposium “Key to Academic Success: Promoting and Evaluating Language Skills” was held on November 5, 2016, at Leipzig University. This event was organized by the Language Center and the Herder Institute of Leipzig University, together with the Institute for Test Research and Development, Leipzig.

In addition to a ceremonial opening of the Symposium on November 4th, in the context of which the important work of Prof. Tschirner in the field of German as a Foreign and Second Language was celebrated on the occasion of his 60th birthday, the event primarily explored the current discussions surrounding the (foreign) language requirements that students have to meet during various phases of their education. A special emphasis was placed on the challenges faced by students during transitions between various levels of education, as well as school and university dropout. The main focus was on current research concerning relevant language needs, reliable diagnostics for academic-language skills, and the associated promotion and training of the required language skills for successful academic and educational outcomes in German as a foreign language.

These subjects were discussed on an interdisciplinary basis with a special emphasis on

  1. the language used in various subject areas,
  2. the evaluation of academic language;
  3. the prevention of dropout, and the promotion of academic-language proficiency.

The outcomes of the Symposium were published in a special issue of the journal infoDaF, edited by Olaf Bärenfänger, Katrin Wisniewski, and Denisa Bordag.


Key to Academic Success: Promoting and Evaluating Language Skills.




The symposium “Key to Academic Success: Promoting and Evaluating Language Skills” was held on November 5, 2016, at Leipzig University. This event was organized by the Language Center and the Herder Institute of Leipzig University, together with the Institute for Test Research and Development, Leipzig.

In addition to a ceremonial opening of the Symposium on November 4th, in the context of which the important work of Prof. Tschirner in the field of German as a Foreign and Second Language was celebrated on the occasion of his 60th birthday, the event primarily explored the current discussions surrounding the (foreign) language requirements that students have to meet during various phases of their education. A special emphasis was placed on the challenges faced by students during transitions between various levels of education, as well as school and university dropout. The main focus was on current research concerning relevant language needs, reliable diagnostics for academic-language skills, and the associated promotion and training of the required language skills for successful academic and educational outcomes in German as a foreign language.

These subjects were discussed on an interdisciplinary basis with a special emphasis on

  1. the language used in various subject areas,
  2. the evaluation of academic language;
  3. the prevention of dropout, and the promotion of academic-language proficiency.

The outcomes of the Symposium were published in a special issue of the journal infoDaF, edited by Olaf Bärenfänger, Katrin Wisniewski, and Denisa Bordag.






Expert Workshop “German as a Foreign Language for STEM Subjects” in July 2014



The Expert Workshop “German as a Foreign Language for STEM Subjects: Foundations and Curricular Approaches” was held from July 24 to 26, 2014, at Leipzig University. This event was organized by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), the Herder Institute of Leipzig University, and the Institute for Test Research and Development, Leipzig.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together approximately 50 colleagues from the field of German as a Foreign Language and German Language and Literature, and the teaching methodologies of the STEM subjects, along with teachers of German as a Foreign Language and teachers of STEM subjects from schools and universities in the US and Germany, in order to investigate and discuss the state of research on the need for language training and further education among teachers, university students, and schoolchildren in the STEM subjects.

In this context, the event sought to pool the diverse areas of expertise of researchers from the US and Germany in order to, on this basis, open up new avenues, both in the development of curricula and teaching materials and in the training and further education of teachers and university lecturers. Another important area of focus was the screening and testing of language skills in the STEM subjects.

The workshop was supported by a grant from the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany using funds from the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). This event was organized by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), the Herder Institute at Leipzig University, the organization interDaF e.V., and the Institute for Test Research and Development, Leipzig.

The 2014 Expert Workshop served as the kickoff for a three-year research and further-education program. In 2015 and 2016 summer schools for German teachers from the US were organized on the basis of the outcomes of the 2014 Workshop. These summer-school programs were hosted by the organization interDaF e.V. in Leipzig.

The workshop proceedings were also summarized in a book entitled Deutsch als zweite Bildungssprache in MINT-Fächern (German as a Second Academic Language in the STEM Subjects), edited by Erwin Tschirner, Jupp Möhring, and Keith Cothrun and published by Stauffenburg Verlag.


Expert Workshop “German as a Foreign Language for STEM Subjects” in July 2014




The Expert Workshop “German as a Foreign Language for STEM Subjects: Foundations and Curricular Approaches” was held from July 24 to 26, 2014, at Leipzig University. This event was organized by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), the Herder Institute of Leipzig University, and the Institute for Test Research and Development, Leipzig.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together approximately 50 colleagues from the field of German as a Foreign Language and German Language and Literature, and the teaching methodologies of the STEM subjects, along with teachers of German as a Foreign Language and teachers of STEM subjects from schools and universities in the US and Germany, in order to investigate and discuss the state of research on the need for language training and further education among teachers, university students, and schoolchildren in the STEM subjects.

In this context, the event sought to pool the diverse areas of expertise of researchers from the US and Germany in order to, on this basis, open up new avenues, both in the development of curricula and teaching materials and in the training and further education of teachers and university lecturers. Another important area of focus was the screening and testing of language skills in the STEM subjects.

The workshop was supported by a grant from the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany using funds from the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). This event was organized by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), the Herder Institute at Leipzig University, the organization interDaF e.V., and the Institute for Test Research and Development, Leipzig.

The 2014 Expert Workshop served as the kickoff for a three-year research and further-education program. In 2015 and 2016 summer schools for German teachers from the US were organized on the basis of the outcomes of the 2014 Workshop. These summer-school programs were hosted by the organization interDaF e.V. in Leipzig.

The workshop proceedings were also summarized in a book entitled Deutsch als zweite Bildungssprache in MINT-Fächern (German as a Second Academic Language in the STEM Subjects), edited by Erwin Tschirner, Jupp Möhring, and Keith Cothrun and published by Stauffenburg Verlag.

Im Oktober 2013 fand unter Leitung von Prof. Dr. Erwin Tschirner und Dr. Olaf Bärenfänger die interdisziplinäre Fachkonferenz mit dem Titel „Kompetenzprofile Deutsch als fremde Bildungssprache 2013″ in Leipzig statt.

Die präzise und empirisch fundierte Beschreibung „Bildungssprachlicher Kompetenzprofile” ist bislang ein Desiderat der Sprach(kompetenz)- und Testforschung. Das Schließen dieser Forschungslücke ist nicht nur wünschenswert, sondern notwendig, denn für die bildungssprachliche Betreuung, Beratung und Evaluation der großen Anzahl von Studierenden und Schülern nicht-deutscher Muttersprache in Deutschland werden zuverlässige Beschreibungen der kommunikativen Bedürfnisse und Anforderungen dieser Zielgruppe benötigt.

Verschiedene wissenschaftliche Disziplinen, darunter die Angewandte Linguistik, Testwissenschaft, Sprachdidaktik, Fachdidaktik, das Fach Deutsch als Fremdsprache und die Erziehungswissenschaft haben bereits wichtige Beiträge zur Entwicklung „Bildungssprachlicher Kompetenzprofile” geleistet. Häufig unterbleibt jedoch die interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit, mögliche Synergieeffekte bleiben ungenutzt und den vielschichtigen und mehrdimensionalen Anforderungen, die mit dieser Zielstellung verbunden sind, konnte man bislang nicht gerecht werden.

Das Ziel der Veranstaltung war es, etwa 50 hochrangige Wissenschaftler verschiedener Fachbereiche und führende Vertreter wichtiger wissenschaftlicher Verbände zusammenzubringen und diese zum wissenschaftlichen Austausch und zur Zusammenarbeit anzuregen.
Die Konferenz konnte wesentlich dazu beitragen, theoretische und praktische Schritte für die wichtige Zielstellung der Beschreibung „Bildungssprachlicher Kompetenzprofile” zu benennen und auf den Weg zu bringen.






Symposium “Ability Profiles for German as a Second Academic Language” in October 2013



In October 2013, an interdisciplinary conference on ability profiles for German as a second academic language (“Kompetenzprofile Deutsch als fremde Bildungssprache 2013”) took place in Leipzig under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Erwin Tschirner and Dr. Olaf Bärenfänger.

The precise and empirically based description of ability profiles for academic language has always been a desideratum for language (skills) and test research. The closing of this research gap is not only desirable, but also necessary, because, in order to provide academic-language support, guidance, and evaluation for the large number of university students and schoolchildren in Germany who do not speak German as their native language, reliable descriptions of the communicative needs and requirements of this target group are required.

Various scientific disciplines, including applied linguistics, the science of testing, language teaching, subject-related teaching methodology, German as a Foreign Language, and educational science, have already made important contributions to the development of “ability profiles for academic language.” However, interdisciplinary cooperation is often lacking, potential synergy effects are not exploited, and it has not been possible to satisfy the complex and multi-dimensional requirements associated with this objective.

The aim of the event was to bring together some 50 high-ranking scientists from various fields, along with leading representatives of important scientific associations, in order to facilitate scientific exchange and inspire cooperation.

The symposium was able to make a significant contribution towards the identification and initiation of theoretical and practical steps for the important objective of describing “ability profiles for academic language.”


Symposium “Ability Profiles for German as a Second Academic Language” in October 2013




In October 2013, an interdisciplinary conference on ability profiles for German as a second academic language (“Kompetenzprofile Deutsch als fremde Bildungssprache 2013”) took place in Leipzig under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Erwin Tschirner and Dr. Olaf Bärenfänger.

The precise and empirically based description of ability profiles for academic language has always been a desideratum for language (skills) and test research. The closing of this research gap is not only desirable, but also necessary, because, in order to provide academic-language support, guidance, and evaluation for the large number of university students and schoolchildren in Germany who do not speak German as their native language, reliable descriptions of the communicative needs and requirements of this target group are required.

Various scientific disciplines, including applied linguistics, the science of testing, language teaching, subject-related teaching methodology, German as a Foreign Language, and educational science, have already made important contributions to the development of “ability profiles for academic language.” However, interdisciplinary cooperation is often lacking, potential synergy effects are not exploited, and it has not been possible to satisfy the complex and multi-dimensional requirements associated with this objective.

The aim of the event was to bring together some 50 high-ranking scientists from various fields, along with leading representatives of important scientific associations, in order to facilitate scientific exchange and inspire cooperation.

The symposium was able to make a significant contribution towards the identification and initiation of theoretical and practical steps for the important objective of describing “ability profiles for academic language.”


ITT Lectures


The ITT e.V. organizes regular guest lectures. These events are open to all interested individuals.




Previous Guest Lectures


20180619_171739

2018

Pardee Lowe, Jr.


The ILR Scale – a Half-Century of Insights


Abstract

What happens when a unique situation arises and a truly new testing system must be created? This presentation looks at the requirements that occasioned the devising of the US Government’s Interagency Language (ILR) Scale in the mid-1950s and how it has fared ever since. Initially, outsiders questioned its feasibility and effectiveness. The presenter, who wrote the first full scale Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) manual and co-authored the handbook on text evaluation according to the ILR scale, has at various times sat, been chair or co-chair of most of the ILR committees, as well as been a member of the committees that revise the extant ILR Language Skill Level Descriptions and help on those that have created the newest ones. He has trained both the initial generation of OPI testers and trainers at the Defense Language Institute’s Foreign Language Center (Monterey, CA) as well as the initial generation of OPI testers and trainers at American Council for teaching Foreign Language. Moreover, he trained both these groups in text evaluation. In this presentation he delves into the „hows“ and „whys“ of the ILR scale’s working and shares both some of its quirks and some of the ways in which it has proved revolutionary, seminal, and transformative!

oznor

2018

Dorry Kenyon


The Scripted Oral Interview: Can Technology and Advanced Psychometrics Improve its Potential?


Abstract
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.

Lecture Gass

2017

Prof. Dr. Susan Gass


Learning to listen: To caption or not? 


Abstract
Listening skills are often the last skill to develop in foreign language learning. This presentation will focus on classroom use of listening-based videos with a particular emphasis on the use of captions for language teaching/learning in foreign language classrooms. I will first present results from large scale assessments at a large university in the U.S. From these results, we can better understand the role of listening language learning. I then present results from studies in which the focus was on the relative usefulness of captions depending on language, proficiency, and order of presentation when listening materials are played twice (with and without captions). I will also look at eye-tracking data from English learners of Spanish and Chinese and Arabic learners of English. The eye-tracking data, coupled with working memory data, provide insight into the attentional focus of captions and the potentially resultant split-attention effect. I will end with some pedagogical implications.

Lecture Studer

2016

Prof. Dr. Thomas Studer


“Machen Lernerkorpora Schule?” (“Are Learner Corpora Catching On?”)


Abstract
The guest lecture was organized by the ITT e.V. and the Herder Institute of Leipzig University.

Location: Neuer Senatssaal, Ritterstraße 26, 04109 Leipzig

Time: June 6, 2016, 5:00 p.m.

More information on Prof. Dr. Thomas Studer can be found here.

Martina_Lindseth_2011-three-four-portrait

2015

Prof. Dr. Martina Lindseth


“Die Entwicklung mündlicher Kompetenz
während eines Semesters
im Ausland
und an der Heimatuniversität.” (The development of oral language skills during a semester abroad and at the student’s home university.)


Abstract to follow.

Workshops


One of the core activities of the ITT is the development and delivery of workshops.


In addition to individual focus areas, the following are some examples of the topics and questions that are covered in the continuing education events offered by the ITT:

How can oral proficiency be validly and reliably assessed through low- and high-stakes tests?
What makes a good test for reading or listening proficiency?
What are the most common test-design mistakes, and how can they be avoided?
What are the characteristics of a good listening or reading text, and how should items be designed?
How do I ensure that a test is construct- and theory-based?
How can theories and scales be adapted to meet the requirements of specific target groups?
Which testing instruments are suitable for the assessment of learning progress in a classroom context, and how does one apply these instruments?
Which statistical methods are suitable for quality assurance in language-proficiency testing?



Past Workshops




Berufsbezogene Deutschförderung: Zur Systematik und zu inhaltlichen Anforderungen an Lernziele.

Bärenfänger, Olaf

telc, Frankfurt a. M. 11, Apr.


Anforderungen und Struktur von Lernzielen für die berufsbezogene Deutschförderung: Ein Werkstattseminar.

Bärenfänger, Olaf

telc, Frankfurt a. M. 4, Apr.


Berufsbezogene Deutschförderung: Zur Entwicklung von Lernzielkatalogen.

Bärenfänger, Olaf

BAMF, Berlin 24, Jan.


Zur Entwicklung von Lernzielkatalogen für die berufsbezogene Deutschförderung: Ein Werkstattseminar.

Bärenfänger, Olaf

telc, Frankfurt a. M. 4, Jan.





Assessing Language Abilities in First-Year College Programs

Tschirner, Erwin

Workshop Language Testing International (LTI), White Plains (NY), USA 7, Sep.



The ACTFL Reading Proficiency Test (RPT)

Tschirner, Erwin

Workshop Foreign Service Institute (FSI), Arlington (VA), USA 21, Aug.



Der rezeptive Wortschatzbedarf von Fremdsprachenlernern

Tschirner, Erwin

Workshop TU München, Sprachenzentrum 27, Apr.



Workshop zur Messung von Deutschkenntnissen für den Arbeitsmarkt

Bärenfänger, Olaf; Ide, Robin

Genossenschaft Migros Zürich, Schweiz 13-16, Feb.



Zentrale Aspekte bei der Bewertung von Sprech- und Lesekompetenzen im Bereich Deutsch als Fremdsprache

Möhring, Jupp

Andalusische Germanistenverband AGA, Universidade de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spanien




Validating the OPI+ Using the Assessment Use Argument.

Tschirner, Erwin; Bärenfänger, Olaf

Workshop bei Naval Special Warfare, Coronado, CA, USA 16.-17. Mai.




Curriculumplanung für die Studiengänge Germanistik und DaF an der Nationaluniversität Hanoi

Möhring, Jupp

Leitung der Arbeitsgruppe “Testen und Prüfen” (gemeinsam mit Albrecht Klemm), Universität Leipzig, Deutschland



Assessing Literacy – Gute und nützliche Tests für die Schule erstellen

Bärenfänger, Olaf

Weiterbildung für FremdsprachenlehrerInnen, Dresden, Deutschland



Faire und vergleichbare Tests entwickeln

Bärenfänger, Olaf

Workshop am Sprachenzentrum der Universität Leipzig, Deutschland