CRELLA research topics

CRELLA: Examples of current research students' topics and additional areas of interests

Language learning and assessment

Frameworks and standards

  • Critical analysis of the problems of benchmarking an examination to the Common European Framework
  • The nature of the language produced by learners at different levels of the CEFR from the perspective of communicative language functions


  • Washback of a test in relation to test design from a socio-cognitive perspective
  • Possible washback effects of various test formats e.g. multiple-choice, cloze
  • Does targeted vocabulary learning help develop reading skills and promote rapid vocabulary acquisition?

Speaking skills assessment

  • Effects of pre-task planning time (and/or pre-task planning conditions) on paired and group oral test performance
  • An investigation into task qualities and conditions in speaking tests
  • The Impact of listening proficiency on speaking test performance
  • Cognitive processing in speaking and or listening

Test validation

  • Validation of reading, listening, writing or speaking tests in relation to the socio-cognitive framework developed in CRELLA
  • Validating integrated tests (e.g., reading into writing, listening into speaking) using the socio-cognitive framework
  • Establishing the validity of a diagnostic test of reading, listening, writing or speaking
  • The delivery of language test through new media such as the mobile telephone, tablet PC, podcasting and similar innovative modes
  • Validating locally developed EFL proficiency tests
  • Relationship between language test(s) and real life activities
  • The relationship between various test facets and test performance
  • Validity of different test formats for testing reading, listening, speaking or writing or integrated language use

Dimensionality in language assessments

  • Variation of dimensional structure across ability levels in language proficiency tests
  • Relationship between listening proficiency and speaking performance in various test formats
  • A study of relationship between overall English proficiency and English reading, listening, writing or speaking proficiency

Technology and language test delivery

  • The effect of interface-design on computer-based test outcomes of reading as a second language
  • The use of technology in the process and delivery of language assessment


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