Hora Hedayati, UNSW Global
A validation Study of an EAP Reading and Listening Exam

The high stakes implications of language testing for individual test candidates and for institutions relying on these results are well known. As such, there is an increasing demand for accountability and transparency in terms of their use. As validity concerns are at the centre of any accountability discussion, it is essential that stakeholders collect ongoing evidence to support the use and interpretation of scores. In line with this, the present study is undertaken to examine whether reading and listening exams integrated in our University English Entry Course (UEEC) battery of assessment tasks are valid indicators of Academic English reading and listening skills. UEEC - a Direct Entry Program offered by UNSW Global- aims at enabling international students to develop communication and academic literacy skills while acquiring the necessary English language proficiency required to succeed at post-graduate programs. In this presentation, first the constructs and task characteristics underlying UEEC reading and listening exams will be analysed. Next, an empirical analysis of internal structure of a current reading and listening exam, based on a sample of over 250 test takers who completed the exam in April 2017, will be presented. Finally, applications and implications of the findings will be discussed.

Hora Hedayati is currently an Academic English facilitator at UNSW Global University English Entry Course (UEEC) department. She has worked as a Senior Specialist Teacher in the UEEC department where she was involved in the UEEC exam revision and design projects. She holds a PHD in Applied Linguistics (TEFL), and has published papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. Her areas of interest are language assessment and computer-assisted language learning.