Understanding university English instructors’ assessment training needs in the Chinese context

Ling Gan*, Ricky Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    In the past decade, language assessment training has increasingly become a key research agenda in language testing and assessment, particularly within the Chinese context. Studies have explored the training of language instructors who provide language testing and assessment courses, the efficacy of assessment training courses, and assessment training needs of secondary school teachers. However, little attention has been paid to assessment training needs of university English instructors. To address the gap, we adopted a mixed-methods study to examine university English instructors’ assessment training status, their training needs, and the factors that influence these needs. Based on the data from 68 questionnaire respondents, eight interviewees, and two national English course syllabi, we found that a majority of university English instructors lacked sufficient assessment training in classroom-based practices to meet the requirements set by the official documents. Despite this, they did not prefer having advanced training (e.g., workshops lasting at least three days) in assessment due to a variety of personal and contextual factors. The findings have implications for a need to revisit assessment training courses provided in teacher education programs and to review institutional policies that guide teacher professional development in China.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number11
    Number of pages18
    JournalLanguage Testing in Asia
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Assessment training needs
    • Contextual factors
    • Language assessment literacy
    • Personal factors
    • University English instructors


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