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I am Xiaowan Zhang, a researcher, language tester, and teacher. I am currently a fourth-year Ph.D. student at Michigan State University, pursuing a degree in second language studies with a focus on language testing. I am expected to graduate in May, 2021.

My main research interest is language testing and assessment, in which I have conducted research related to test washback and impact, self-assessment validation, and assessment for English language learner (ELL) children. I am also interested in bridging second language acquisition and language testing research. In particular, I am interested in mapping second/foreign language development using standardized language proficiency scales such as the ACTFL, CEFR, and WIDA’s English Language Development (ELD) scales. For my dissertation, I use survival analysis to investigate the time it takes for ELL children to attain English proficiency as measured on the WIDA ELD scale and factors that may affect the time.

I obtained my master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I worked as a research assistant for an in-house English placement test.  Before I came to the United States, I earned my bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Wuhan University, China.  During my undergraduate studies, I worked as a private English tutor and a part-time English teacher at a private English training school for over two years.


Contact information: zhang874@msu.edu. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in my work or collaboration.