Michigan Language Assessment is pleased to announce that four research grants have been awarded for 2019. The grant awards include three inaugural recipients of the Latin America Research Grants, which were established to support research on language assessment in Latin America. Additionally, a researcher received the Spaan Grant, which was established to recognize Mary Spaan’s contributions to the field of language assessment through her more than three decades of work at U-M.

The Latin American Research grantees will investigate different aspects of the MET, a multilevel test of English language proficiency used widely in Latin America. The recipients are:

  • Elsa Fernanda González, a professor at Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, will study the use of MET in the Mexican context, focusing on the writing section of the test.
  • Claudia Vazquez (University of Queensland, Australia) and Monica Frenzel (Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile) will look into the features of oral performance on the MET speaking test at different CEFR levels.
  • Oxana Kozlova of the BNC Colombo Americano–Armenia will consider the impact of embedding the MET into Colombian university students’ English language learning programs.

Ren Liu of the University of California–Merced received Spaan Grant funding. He will use cognitive diagnostic modelling to examine sub-skill mastery of test takers at different CEFR levels on the MET. The findings of the study should prove useful for learners looking for guidance in furthering their English language learning.

Reports from these year-long studies will be published in the Michigan Language Assessment Working Papers series, available in 2020. Applications for the next round of both programs open in the second half of 2019. Interested parties are encouraged to check the Michigan Language Assessment website for details.