Speaker: Dr Talia Isaacs, UCL Institute of Education
Facilitator: Dr Sin Wang Chong, Queen's University Belfast
This presentation will provide an overview of fundamental considerations in research on pronunciation assessment in adult second language learners of English. We will begin by overviewing the ways in which pronunciation instructional priorities and assessment targets have shifted over time, including reasons for its neglect and resurgence and competing tensions between key global constructs. Content coverage will also include, in brief, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives as they relate to standards and learner attainment, human evaluative judgments and the transformative role of technology in the assessment terrain, and finally, the challenges that global Englishes poses in transnational communication and developing authentic pronunciation assessments.
Talia Isaacs is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL and Programme Leader of the MA TESOL In-Service at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. She has a wide range of research interests in applied linguistics, including second language speech, language assessment, and health communication. Her current projects centre on applying complexity, accuracy, and fluency measures to validate rating scale descriptors, language-based inclusion/exclusion decisions in participant recruitment to clinical trials, and the relationship between English proficiency test scores and academic attainment. She is a member of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners and the Editorial Board of Language Testing and was a core adviser to the OECD on the development of questionnaires for the PISA 2025 foreign language assessment.