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Trajectories of language assessment literacy in a teacher-researcher partnership: Locating elements of praxis through narrative inquiry

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Abstract

In 2011, under the auspices of the Luxembourg Ministry of Education, but initiated and steered by a group of teachers, a researcher-teacher partnership was set-up between Lancaster University (UK) and a team of secondary school teachers in Luxembourg. The aim of the partnership was to (a) explore the potential for redesigning the national end-of-secondary-school English exam to ensure alignment with current approaches to language teaching in the classroom, and (b) help to develop the teaching team’s language assessment literacy, and their capacity to carry out high-stakes language test development work. The partnership provides fertile ground for exploring the concept of “praxis” and its relationship to current understandings of language assessment literacy (LAL). This chapter will explore these issues through narrative inquiry; specifically, an analysis of narratives produced by two teachers and two researchers reflecting on their experiences of the project over the past 6 years. Through a discussion of narrative excerpts, we will demonstrate how narrative inquiry can provide evidence of trajectories of language assessment literacy over time, as well as reveal relations between key characters, and identify complicating factors within overarching plots. The chapter will conclude with a reflection on the usefulness of narrative inquiry as a method for exploring a praxis perspective on language assessment literacy.