Cancelled: Assessing the Academic Language Needs of Undergraduate Students

Guest lecture by John Read, associate professor in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

The increasing linguistic diversity among both international and domestic students entering universities in New Zealand, as in English-medium institutions elsewhere, is creating new challenges in addressing the students' needs in the area of academic language and literacy. In order to identify students with such needs, the University of Auckland has implemented the Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment (DELNA), a two-stage screening and diagnostic system. This post-entry programme is now officially a requirement for all first-year undergraduate students, regardless of their language background. The results are used to guide students to appropriate forms of academic language support and enhancement where applicable. This talk will discuss the rationale for the programme and how it has been implemented over the past eight years, including the design of the assessment tasks, the reporting of the results and the provision of various forms of language support.  It will also consider how the development of DELNA has been informed by a number of associated research studies.

John Read

John Read is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has taught applied linguistics, TESOL and English for academic purposes at tertiary institutions in New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. His primary research interests are in second language vocabulary assessment and the testing of English for academic and professional purposes. He is the author of Assessing Vocabulary (Cambridge, 2000), as well as numerous articles and book chapters on vocabulary and assessment. From 2002 to 2006 he was co-editor of Language Testing.  He is currently Vice-President of the International Language Testing Association and will serve as President in 2011-12.