Michigan Language Assessment’s internship program provides professional training and research opportunities for English language teaching and assessment professionals and graduate students. In 2018, Michigan Language Assessment welcomed two interns. The following is from Phuong Nguyen, one of our 2018 interns.
Phuong Nguyen received her MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She taught academic English and English-for-Specific-Purposes courses to university-level students in Vietnam. Recently, she interned at the Center for Applied Linguistics with WIDA’s ACCESS 2.0 test development team and at Michigan Language Assessment working on MET Go! She is currently a PhD student in Applied Linguistics and Technology with a minor in statistics at Iowa State University where she also works as an assistant coordinator for the English Placement Test and instructor for an introductory linguistics course.
My future career goal is working for language testing agencies to develop language tests and investigate the extent to which language tests are well-designed to elicit valid, reliable, and relevant information about examinees. I applied for an internship at Michigan Language Assessment because I knew that it was a perfect place to experience firsthand how professionals collaborate in designing high-quality assessments and to broaden my perspective as a language tester/researcher.
During my time as an intern, I was involved in many projects related to the new MET Go! test. Most of my time was spent researching the use of checklists as a rating tool, examining the functionality of the rating tools for the speaking and writing tests, and helping test developers revise the rating tools and draft test development reports. These projects not only allowed me to apply what I had learned from my graduate programs, they also broadened my horizons. I learned many things from my mentors, Patrick and Gad, and other test developers, including knowledge about learning-oriented assessment and new R packages. I also appreciated being involved in various meetings with different test development teams, which helped me understand the enormous amount of time, organization, collaboration, and creativity needed before launching a new test. I also enjoyed the supportive working environment and the friendly staff at Michigan Language Assessment and the fact that our collaboration will extend beyond the internship.
Overall, this internship was a valuable experience for me to grow professionally. And this experience was perfected by the beautiful, multicultural Ann Arbor, which I totally fell in love with.