Date of Award

12-10-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Sara Cushing

Second Advisor

John Murphy

Third Advisor

Eric Friginal

Fourth Advisor

Kathleen M Bailey

Abstract

Language teacher cognitions can be complex, ranging over many different subjects; they can be dynamic, changing over time and under different influences; and they can be systematic, forming unified and cohesive personal and practical theories (Feryok, 2010). One subject matter area that has not been explored in the literature is the relationship between second language (L2) teacher cognition and assessment, also known as (language) assessment literacy – the level of a teacher's engagement with constructing, using, and interpreting a variety of assessment procedures to make decisions about a learner’s language ability (Taylor, 2013). I examine L2 teachers’ cognitions about assessment at the individual level, and then analyze how micro-institutional (social) and macro-sociocultural aspects of their lives as language teachers (including past, present, and future aspects) are shaping teachers’ assessment practices.

This investigation focused on a group of 96 in-service university English language teachers in Uzbekistan. The three overarching research questions are: (1) To what extent does the Language Assessment Literacy Survey (Kremmel & Harding, forthcoming), provide valid and actionable information about teachers’ language assessment literacy? (2) How do Uzbekistan EFL teachers talk about their assessment practices and justify the scores they provide for their students? (3) What are the macro-environmental constraints and/or affordances in Uzbekistan that could shape how EFL teachers provide meaningful assessment situations for their students? The data were collected over three months and include teachers’ responses to the Language Assessment Literacy Survey (N = 96), transcripts of five focus group interviews, and transcripts of twelve semi-structured one-on-one interviews.

For quantitative analyses, I computed in JASP v.0.8.3.1 the descriptive statistics for the overall survey, conducted an external review of the language assessment literacy literature, and carried out an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Subsequently, I compared my results with Kremmel and Harding’s to determine the validity of their survey. For qualitative analyses, I used substantive or open coding to discern how/if the participating Uzbekistan EFL teachers are creating relevant and meaningful assessment experiences for their students. The results are discussed in terms of the relationship between the participating Uzbekistan EFL teachers’ cognitions, emotions, and activities of language assessment that they report.

Available for download on Sunday, August 16, 2020

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