1 September 2022

Associate professor Slobodanka Dimova is guest editor on special issue of the journal Language Testing: Local Tests, Local Contexts

The most recent special issue of the journal Language Testing is titled Local tests, local context and is guest edited by Slobodanka Dimova, associate professor at CIP, and her colleagues Xun Yan from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and April Ginther from Purdue University. The special issue extends the discussion on local language testing practice that was initiated in the editors’ monograph Local Language Tests: Design, Implementation, and Development, published in 2020 by Routledge. The monograph was inspired by the editors’ involvement in local test design in their own contexts (e.g., Test of Oral English Proficiency for Academic Staff (TOEPAS) at the University of Copenhagen).

The editors define local test as a test whose development is designed to produce scores that help solve a local decision-making problem, which emerges out of a need within the local context, e.g. UCPH or other educational organisations. Local tests diverge from large-scale tests mainly in the collaborative nature of their development and use, where local actors (e.g., test developers, language instructors, program administrators, policymakers) co-construct the test’s identity. Test development, use, and interpretation in local contexts becomes the nexus for local community endeavors through collaboration with different stakeholders.

The call for the special issue attracted 104 submissions, a record number in the 40-year history of the journal, which speaks about the ubiquity of local language tests that have insofar remained out of the research spotlight. Given the importance of the local context, each of the six contributing articles offers description of the local instructional and/or testing context and identifies the local need for test design or revision. More information about the chapters, which represent European, North American, Asian, and South American contexts, can be found in the vodcast Language Testing Bytes #35.

If you are interested in learning more about CIP’s research and initiatives within language and language testing, please explore CIP’s website or contact CIP@hum.ku.dk with any questions.