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 Senyung Lee, one of the 2018 interns.
Senyung Lee is a PhD candidate in second language studies at Indiana University, focusing on second language assessment. Her main research interests are testing L2 collocations and L2 writing assessment.
One of the main reasons I applied to intern at Michigan Language Assessment was to gain experience in quality assurance practices in a large-scale assessment context. Most of my previous hands-on experiences in language testing have been writing test specifications, writing items, and developing rubrics, but I have not worked with post-development phases. I was excited when I learned that Michigan Language Assessment provides opportunities to work on quality management of existing tests.
I was tasked with laying out possible revisions of one of the tests, and I learned a great deal about stakeholder interests and practical concerns regarding a large-scale international English test. This was invaluable experience for me because I learned to consider a big picture of the whole test administration rather than just focusing on test constructs and individual items at the micro level. In addition, interns were invited to staff meetings, and it allowed me to understand how staff members with different specialties work as a cohesive team.
Outside of work, I did my best to try different cuisines in Ann Arbor’s famous restaurants. Ann Arbor is such a vibrant city with great restaurants and coffee shops, and I will miss having a variety of options for food. I was also able to enjoy the Ann Arbor Summer Festival to the fullest.
My internship was only for eight weeks, but I feel I not only learned a lot about language assessment but also met great people. The friendly environment where all staff members are eager to help each other and learn new things was one of the best parts of the internship. I’d also like to thank Gad Lim and Rachel Basse for their support and very accommodating supervision they provided. This was an amazing opportunity for me to develop as a language tester.