Assessment policy change in relation to English language teaching and learning in China : a study of perspectives from two universities

Chen, Qiuxian (2011) Assessment policy change in relation to English language teaching and learning in China : a study of perspectives from two universities. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


In response to concerns about the quality of English Language Learning (ELL) education at tertiary level, the Chinese Ministry of Education (CMoE) launched the College English Reform Program (CERP) in 2004. By means of a press release (CMoE, 2005) and a guideline document titled College English Curriculum Requirements (CECR) (CMoE, 2007), the CERP proposed two major changes to the College English assessment policy, which were: (1) the shift to optional status for the compulsory external test, the College English Test Band 4 (CET4); and (2) the incorporation of formative assessment into the existing summative assessment framework. This study investigated the interactions between the College English assessment policy change, the theoretical underpinnings, and the assessment practices within two Chinese universities (one Key University and one Non-Key University). It adopted a sociocultural theoretical perspective to examine the implementation process as experienced by local actors of institutional and classroom levels. Systematic data analysis using a constant comparative method (Merriam, 1998) revealed that contextual factors and implementation issues did not lead to significant differences in the two cases. Lack of training in assessment and the sociocultural factors such as the traditional emphasis on the product of learning and hierarchical teacher/students relationship are decisive and responsible for the limited effect of the reform.

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ID Code: 45767
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Klenowski, Valentina, Kettle, Margaret, & May, Lynette
Keywords: formative assessment, high-stakes external test, English language learning, English, language assessment, assessment policy change, sociocultural perspective, Chinese, higher education, community of practice
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 07 Sep 2011 02:17
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2011 02:17

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