IDP: IELTS Australia awards research grants for 2012

IDP: IELTS Australia has announced the 2012 grant recipients of its independent academic research program which continues to build the evidence base that underpins IELTS.

The IDP: IELTS Australia funded research program is part of a wider joint-funded scheme involving all three IELTS partners; IDP: IELTS Australia, British Council and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, and is part of a comprehensive and coherent framework for research and validation of IELTS.

John Belleville, Director of IELTS for IDP: IELTS Australia, said: “The research program reflects our commitment to be at theResearch Grants 2012 forefront of English language testing.”

“Outcomes from the research studies will ensure the test maintains its relevance and usefulness for all organisations around the world requesting IELTS results as proof of English language skills,” Mr Belleville said.

This year a total of AUD $215,000 was made available in funding for IELTS-related research projects.

The first IDP: IELTS Australia funded research study, Stakeholder perceptions of IELTS as a gateway to the professional workplace: the case of employers of overseas trained teachers, will aim to enhance understanding of the use and interpretation of IELTS scores by examining perceptions of employers in Australia and New Zealand.

The project will be undertaken by Dr Jill Murray (Dept of Linguistics, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University), Associate Professor Ken Cruickshank (Faculty of Education and Social Work, Sydney University) and Dr. Judie Cross (Languages, Randwick TAFE NSW Sydney Institute) in agreement with Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia.

The second grant was awarded to Dr Tim Moore (Faculty of Higher Education, Swinburne University of Technology), Janne Morton (School of Language and Linguistics, The University of Melbourne) and Chris Wallis (Swinburne College) through an agreement with Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria, Australia.

The project, Literacy practices in the professional workplace: Implications for the IELTS General Training Reading and Writing tests, will investigate literacy practices in a range of professional workplace settings, and consider the implications these have for the design of the IELTS General Training Reading and Writing tests.

Researchers and institutions with expertise in language learning and assessment are invited to apply for funding to undertake IELTS-related research projects by 30 June each year. Further information is available on the IELTS website.

Proposals for 2012 were received by researchers from around the world including Australia, USA, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Taiwan, China.  

The findings of these funded projects are published in IELTS Research Reports which is available both in print and online, with the latest research (Volume 13) released in March 2012.]

IELTS has cemented its position as the world’s most popular high stakes English language test for study, work and migration, by providing a reliable measure of a candidate’s ability across the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Representing more than 15 consecutive years of global growth, the number of tests taken has increased year-on-year annually since 1995. Latest figures reveal a record 1.7 million tests were taken around the world.