This event, taking place 40 years after the original meeting of language testers in a Boston hotel room in 1979, is returning to North America for the first time in four years and to the United States for the first time in seven years. We have travelled the globe in 40 years, with the last two conferences held in the Southern Hemisphere—Colombia in 2017 and New Zealand in 2018.
The Center for Economic and Social Justice defines social justice as “the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we call institutions. In turn, social institutions, when justly organized, provide us with access to what is good for the person, both individually and in our associations with others. Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to collaborate with others, at whatever level of the ‘Common Good’ in which we participate, to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development.”
We have chosen the theme of Language Testing and Social Justice as a focus for the 41st annual Language Testing Research Colloquium. It is a particularly relevant theme for a conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, and a major center of the Civil Rights movement in the USA. We also want to recognize the 20th anniversary of Elana Shohamy’s landmark 1998 article Critical Language Testing and Beyond, in which she challenged language testers to “actively follow the uses and consequences of language tests, and offer assessment models which are more educational, democratic, and ethical in order to minimize misuses.”
As always, we welcome proposals on the full range of research topics within the field, but for this LTRC we particularly encourage participants to propose papers that investigate the uses and misuses of tests, the consequences of language test use, and innovations in language testing that embody Shohamy’s call for “more democratic models of assessment where the power of tests is transferred from elites and executive authorities and shared with the local levels, test takers, teachers, and students.”
Dr. Joan Herman, UCLA Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
Joan Herman is Co-Director Emeritus of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA, where she currently serves as senior research scientist
Dr. Cathie Elder, University of Melbourne
Dr. Elder is Principal Fellow in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne and a former Director (2007-12) of the Language Testing Research Centre.