- Robert Kirkpatrick1
© Language Testing in Asia 2011
Published: 15 March 2011
This editorial marks the successful release of the first edition of Language Testing in Asia. This journal has a special niche due to its Asia-specific nature. Also, as all of our articles will be freely available online this hugely assists researchers who can easily find the articles. Moreover as language testing becomes more extensive and important worldwide it is desirable that many voices from many cultures be heard. The journal is continuing to develop: we are working on improving the layout and access of the website, and by the end of this year we hope to increase the number of reviewers and go to a full blind review process.
Even at this early stage we have been extremely fortunate in attracting a first-rate Editorial Board. These include Fred Davidson, Professor of Linguistics at University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), USA, and author of Language Testing and Assessment (Routledge, 2007, with Glenn Fulcher); Vivien Berry, former Editor of the Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics and a past professor at the University of Hong Kong; Kanchana Prapphal, Professor Emeritus at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and Director of the Academic Testing Center at Chulalongkorn University from 2000-2008; and Bordin Chinda, lecturer at Chiang Mai University (PhD in language testing and assessment from the University of Nottingham, UK). More will be joining later in the year.
Of course the most important part of any journal's success are the writers, and this issue features three Thai nationals and one New Zealander. Apinya Boonmusik compares grammar tests as a motivational tool for Grade 7 students from Assumption College in Thailand. The first is made up of multiple choice questions, arranging words into sentences, gap-fills, and completing the text of the sentence. The second test has the same test types but includes colorful pictures, chart presentations, and simplified choices and she finds that these additions make for a more motivational test.
Peerasak Apichatrojanakul looks at washback from the TOEIC examination on the teachers and students through his own teaching experience with TOEIC preparation courses and interview results from students of a Bangkok business school. He also indicates different teaching and learning approaches, activities, teaching plans, etc. that increase positive washback effects.
Jane Scrymgeour interviewed sixteen students from the Education Department of Chulalongkorn University who took CU-TEP exam, and talks about methods used by Thai students for preparing for the exam. Jane finds a lack of preparation among some students; other students who did prepare but found the exam to be difficult, and overall relatively poor scores.
Amporn Jianrattanapong looks at the washback effects from Thai university entrance examinations and suggests that using direct writing tests in the writing part of the exams promotes positive washback. This essay also gives ideas on how to overcome some shortcomings in writing assessment and encourages practices and classroom activities that enable graduates to have more competence in writing.
Finally, this editorial wouldn't be complete without thanking our production editor Hmone Lian Hlaing who has done many of the trickiest tasks including formatting the articles and designing our cover.