Quick Links

Carolyn Turner

Associate Professor

Carolyn Turner

carolyn [dot] turner [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail)
Phone: 514-398-6984

Room 421, Education Building

Areas of interest

    Main area of expertise: language assessment

    • Second and foreign language assessment
    • Assessment in educational settings  (learning-oriented assessment, classroom-based assessment & high-stakes tests external-to-the-classroom)
    • Impact of high-stakes tests on teaching and learning
    • The use of high-stakes tests in educational innovation
    • Language needs and assessment in multi-lingual health profession contexts (including health care access for linguistic minorities)
    • Empirically based rating scales for performance testing
    • Underlying traits in second/foreign language performance
    • Co-constructed discourse in interactive assessment contexts
    • Research methods in second/foreign languages
    • Mixed methods research designs in second/foreign languages


      Description of research/teaching activities
      My research focuses on issues in second language assessment. I am interested in the contributing factors to L2 performance and my work spans a variety of contexts from classroom settings to health care environments. Depending on the research questions, my research designs have included the full spectrum of methodologies from quantitative to qualitative to mixed methods research. More recently my work has focused on learning-oriented assessment and the complex environment of the classroom.  Traditionally my field of Language Testing has examined individual language ability from a cognitive perspective, but with joint performances in paired/group tasks and the global/societal factors to consider, we need to now also consider the social interactional perspective. My work has evolved in this direction.

      Selected publications/presentations

      Turner, C.E. (2012). Classroom assessment.  In G. Fulcher & F. Davidson (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Language Testing (pp. 61-74).  New York:  Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

      Turner, C.E. (2012). Rating scales for language tests. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics, Volume: Assessment and evaluation.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

      Turner, C.E. (2012).  Assessment and Evaluation: Mixed methods.  In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics, Volume: Assessment and evaluation.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

      White, J. & Turner, C.E. (2012).  What language is promoted in intensive programs? Analyzing language generated from oral assessment tasks.  In C. Muñoz (Ed.).  Intensive exposure experiences in second language learning. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

      Baker, B., Laurier, M., Turner, C.E., Tan, M., Lira Gonzales, M. & Ainsworth. J.  (2012, April).  Development of a Computer-based formative assessment instrument for nurses using ESL in Quebec, Canada. Poster presented at the 34th Annual Language Testing Research Colloquium, International Language Testing Association, Princeton, NJ.

      Isaacs, T., Laurier, M.D., Turner, C.E. & Segalowitz, N. (2011).  Identifying second language speech tasks and ability levels for successful nurse oral interaction with patients in a minority setting:  An instrument development project.  Health Communication, 26, 560-570.

      Tan, M. & Turner, C.E.  (2011, June). Aligning internal and external validation of a high-stakes ESL exam: Classroom-based assessment and high-stakes testing.  Paper presented at the 33nd Annual Language Testing Research Colloquium, International Language Testing Association, Ann Arbor, MI.

      Turner, C.E. (2009).  Examining washback in second language education contexts: A high stakes provincial exam and the teacher factor in classroom practice in Quebec secondary schools. International Journal on Pedagogies and Learning, 5(1), 103-123.

      Colby-Kelly, C., & Turner, C.E. (2007). AFL research in the L2 classroom and evidence of usefulness: Taking formative assessment to the next level. Canadian Modern Language Review, 64(1), 9-38.

      Fox, J., Wesche, M., Bayliss, D., Cheng, L., Turner, C.E., & Doe, C. (Eds.). (2007). Language testing reconsidered. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

      Turner, C.E, Laurier, M., & Wei, X. (2007, June). Health care access for linguistic minorities: Identifying nurse speech acts for assessment. 29th Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC ’07). Barcelona, Spain.

      Turner, C.E. (2006). Professionalism and high-stakes tests: Teachers’ perspectives when dealing with educational change introduced through provincial exams. TESL Canada Journal, 23(2), 54-76.

      Turner, C.E., & Upshur, J.A. (2002). Rating scales derived from student samples: Effects of the scale maker and the student sample on scale content and student scores. TESOL Quarterly, 36(1), 49-70.

      Tags: