Understanding English Instructors’ Assessment Training Needs in the Chinese Context

Ling Gan, Ricky Lam

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


In the last decade, language assessment training has increasingly become a significant agenda among researchers in the Chinese context. Researchers have investigated professional training of language testing instructors (Jin, 2010), the assessment training landscape (Lam, 2015) and the assessment training needs of secondary school teachers (Yan, Zhang & Fan, 2018). However, little attention has been paid to the assessment training needs of university English instructors (Jin, 2018). To address this gap, a mixed-methods study approach was adopted to examine (a) university English instructors’ language assessment training levels, (b) training needs, and (c) the factors that influence training needs through a questionnaire, interviews, and document analysis. The questionnaire was sent to English instructors in the central part of China using an official online survey website and in total there were sixty-eight valid responses. Then, the semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight volunteered respondents. Questionnaire data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, and interview and document data by inductive coding. The study found that a majority of university English instructors lacked sufficient assessment training in classroom-based practices to meet the assessment requirements. Despite this, they did not prefer having advanced training (3-day and more-than- 3-day workshops) in assessment practices due to a variety of contextual factors (e.g., heavy workload and limited institutional support) and personal factors (e.g., research interests/areas). The study has implications for a need to revisit assessment training courses provided in teacher education programs and to review institutional policies responsible for teacher professional development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2020
EventThe 18th AsiaTEFL International Conference, AsiaTEFL 2020 - Online & KINTEX Convention Center, Goyang, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 27 Nov 202029 Nov 2020


CompetitionThe 18th AsiaTEFL International Conference, AsiaTEFL 2020
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


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