PhD Candidate: The Predictive Validity of Language Testing for University First-Year Students

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 10 Dec 2021

Are you an aspiring researcher, committed to producing knowledge with a significant scientific and social impact? As a PhD student, you will conduct research on the effects of language tests on the study success of Radboud University’s own students. This way, you contribute both to our general understanding of the usefulness of testing and to the university’s language policy.

You will join the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) of the Faculty of Arts where you will carry out research and write a thesis on diagnostic language testing. First-year BA students at Radboud University are subjected to a compulsory language test in English or Dutch, depending on the main language of the programme of their choice. This test assesses basic linguistic capacities with respect to, for example, usage, orthography, etc., as all students must have the necessary languages skills for their studies. Since the test has now been running for a number of years, we want to study its predictive validity and effectiveness: Does it predict study success? And what about the linguistic level of the BA thesis written at the end of the undergraduate programme? Are there certain parts of the test which are more successful than others?

All test data from recent years are available. Under the supervision of Prof. Marc van Oostendorp and Prof. Rob Schoonen, you will study this data in a responsible way, contributing to our general understanding of the usefulness of testing and eventually to Radboud University's language policy. Your research should result in a number of publishable papers, which together will constitute your PhD thesis.

You will participate in the Graduate School for the Humanities, which includes taking courses for approximately six months and providing six months of academic service to the Faculty of Arts at Radboud University, during which you can prepare yourself for a career after your PhD. In addition to conducting research, you will have some teaching duties within the Faculty of Arts. You will be part of the department of Modern Languages and Culture (expertise: Proficiency in the Dutch Language), where Prof. Marc van Oostendorp will be your supervisor.

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