Applying results from second language acquisition research to diagnostic language proficiency with a computer adaptive system

Researcher: Dmitri Leontjev

Supervisors:  Ari Huhta (PhD, prof.) and Riikka Alanen (PhD, prof.)

Duration:  2007-

Description of the project

The present study is centred on compiling and evaluating a dynamic diagnostic test that assesses learners’ skills in terms of what they can and cannot do in English. Specifically, the object of the study is adaptive diagnostic feedback. The linguistic features to be assessed in the test will mostly be based on the findings of the CEFLING (http://www.jyu.fi/cefling) and the TOPLING (www.jyu.fi/topling) research projects. The study will operationalise these findings by designing and trying out a computerised system that diagnoses learners’ abilities and, at the same time, enables learners’ self-diagnosis and promotion of their development.
The study aims to have a positive impact on learning/teaching English by demonstrating how to use solid theoretical and empirical findings to design and implement a computer system that delivers automated adaptive feedback which enables learners’ self-diagnosis and development. Also the teachers can see where the learners have problems and how much assistance they need to successfully overcome them. The further practical benefit of the study could be a shift from the traditional assessment paradigm in the minds of learners (but also teachers) in that assessment should not exclusively be about assessing one’s skills but also about promoting them. The study also has theoretical implications, as it contributes to the under-researched fields of L2 diagnostic and dynamic assessment.