Nathaniel Owen

Nathaniel Owen
University of Oxford | OX · Assessment

Doctor of Education
Assessment Research and Validation Manager at Oxford University Press

About

12
Publications
12,611
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
94
Citations

Publications

Publications (12)
Article
Full-text available
As English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) continues to expand across the globe, there is a glaring absence of research on assessment. This article reviews the scarce literature to date and maps out a research agenda for the future. Drawing on Shohamy’s ( 2001 , 2007) Critical Language Testing and McNamara et al.’s (2019) notions of “fair” and “ju...
Article
Full-text available
This project examined academic reading in two contrasting English as a medium of instruction (EMI) university settings in Nepal and Sweden and the unique challenges facing students who are studying in a language other than their primary language. The motivation for the project was to explore the role of high‐stakes testing in EMI contexts and the i...
Article
Full-text available
We dedicate this work to Professor Stephen Bax, who continues to inspire colleagues and the students he worked with during the course of his career. ABSTRACT This project uses automated analysis software (www.textinspector.com) to research the lexical and metadiscourse thresholds, and lexical and metadiscourse profiles, of test-takers' writing in t...
Article
Full-text available
Higher educational institutions (HEIs) often categorise certain students as 'disabled' in order to support inclusive and equitable study. 'Disabled' students studying in higher education may be asked to 'disclose a disability', request and agree 'reasonable adjustments' that their institution will 'provide' them, and engage with processes such as a...
Article
Full-text available
To support inclusive and equitable study, higher educational institutions (HEIs) often address students categorised as ‘disabled’ in communications to provide information about support or encourage disclosure of information about conditions. However, if students do not identify with the language used it creates barriers to accessing support. There...
Presentation
Full-text available
TOEFL iBT is increasingly used worldwide in the expanding field of university English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI). To date, the TOEFL iBT has been used primarily for admissions decisions for North American universities. However, EMI university settings in both Global South and Global North countries are arguably different in a number of key wa...
Presentation
Full-text available
This study explores how Aptis raters use the Aptis rating scales to judge test-takers' writing using eye-tracking technology and stimulated-recall interviews. Fifteen Aptis raters were presented with on-screen samples of test taker writing, alongside the relevant Aptis rating scale and task. Raters were then tracked as they rated three samples (wri...
Chapter
Full-text available
Test specifications are iterative, generative blueprints of test design. They are written at the item level, and allow test developers or item writers to produce new versions of a test for different test-taking populations. The specs serve as guidelines so that new versions can be compared to previous versions. Specs may detail the properties of in...
Article
In the field of teaching and learning Chinese as a foreign language (CFL), most studies investigate Chinese character learning strategies in pen-and-paper study by campus-based students. With the increase in distance-learning, and expanding popularity of smartphones and tablets and widespread availability of mobile applications for language learnin...
Presentation
Full-text available
Studies concerned with direct linking of different tests usually focus on the technical procedures of linking or comparing scores. Technical procedures of linking or comparing tests have received significant attention in the literature, with the aim of interpreting scores from different scales interchangeably (e.g. Dorans et al, 2010). The aim is t...
Chapter
Full-text available
A remarkable amount of teacher time is devoted to assessment and testing. Assessment is the broader term, encompassing any activity in which data is collected from learners from which we make judgments about their proficiency or progress. It includes, for example, informal classroom quizzes, and peer- and self-assessment, and is free from the restr...
Article
Full-text available
This paper documents the creation, implementation and analysis of a survey instrument designed to reveal patterns of use and attitudes towards the value of social media by UK teachers. The study was motivated to discover which teachers use social media professionally, how they use it (both personally and professionally) and attitudes to social medi...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This study offers a contribution to the Aptis research base with respect to candidates' developing lexical (and metadiscourse) profiles across the levels examined by the Aptis Writing test. A large quantity of Aptis writing responses (n=6,367), with diverse linguistic backgrounds, together with their score data, will be analysed in terms of their use of lexis and metadiscourse, with a view to enhancing the validation argument for the Aptis test through large-scale profiling of candidates' lexical and metadiscourse use in the Aptis writing test (parts 2, 3 and 4). The research will examine candidates' lexical diversity, range and lexical sophistication using measures and datasets which include standard readability measures, the British National Corpus, the Corpus of Contemporary American English, English Vocabulary Profile (EVP), the Academic Word List (AWL), and a selected list of metadiscourse markers.
Project
This study explores how Aptis raters use the Aptis rating scales to judge test-takers' writing using innovative eye-tracking technology and stimulated-recall interviews. The Aptis test is a business to business test used to determine readiness to enter or progress within a profession. Research on rater effects in writing assessment suggests variability among raters in which aspects of performance they regard as important (Eckes, 2008). To date, this research has typically employed think-aloud protocols (Cumming, 1990; Vaughan, 1991), retrospective reports (Milanovich et al, 1996) or surveys (Eckes, 2008) to identify different rater types. This study extends the enquiry by using eye-tracking to provide observable, finely-grained data regarding how raters use the Aptis rating scale to award scores to individual test takers.
Project
This project examined academic reading in two contrasting English-medium instruction (EMI) university settings in Nepal and Sweden and the unique challenges facing students who are studying in a language other than their L1. The project was motivated to consider the role of high-stakes testing in EMI contexts and what implications there may be for the design of the TOEFL iBT®. We employed a sequential mixed-methods approach in order to gather substantive and authentic qualitative data from stakeholders immersed in EMI settings. A small sample of students (Nepal = 10, Sweden = 9) were asked to complete reading logs over a period of three weeks in order to determine the types of texts and reading load associated with diverse EMI settings. Additionally, a larger cohort of students from each setting (Nepal = 69, Sweden = 60) completed questionnaires examining academic reading demands, reading skills and practices. Students who completed the questionnaires also completed a TOEFL iBT reading test. Student performance was compared across the two contexts for each of the three reading purposes contained in the TOEFL test (‘basic comprehension’, ‘inferencing’ and ‘reading to learn’; Jamieson et al, 2008). The same students also completed a post-test questionnaire in order to consider the suitability of the TOEFL iBT for EMI contexts. Following test completion, a series of semi-structured interviews (Nepal = 21, Sweden = 23) focused more closely on students’ perspectives of reading demands in their academic contexts and the suitability of the reading section TOEFL iBT to make claims about readiness to study in EMI contexts.