PhD defence Charline Rouffet: The best way to test foreign language teaching

'Dank' in verschillende talen. Foto: © iStock/ivosar

In today’s foreign language (FL) education, teachers universally recognise the importance of fostering students’ ability to communicate in the target language. However, the current assessments often do not (sufficiently) evaluate this. In her dissertation, Charline Rouffet aims to gather insight into the potential of assessments to steer FL teaching practices.

Communicative learning objectives

FL teachers fully support the communicative learning objectives formulated at national level and embrace the principles of communicative language teaching. Yet, assessments instead primarily focus on formal language knowledge in isolation (e.g., grammar rules), disconnected from real-world communicative contexts. This misalignment between assessment practices and communicative objectives hampers effective FL teaching.

CBA toolbox

The aim of this design-based PhD research project is to gather insight into the potential of assessments to steer FL teaching practices. To this end, tools for developing communicative classroom-based assessment (CBA) programmes were designed and implemented in practice, in close collaboration with FL teachers.

Rouffet's dissertation consists of multiple studies, in which the current challenges of FL education are addressed and the usage of the CBA toolbox is investigated. Findings reveal that assessing FL competencies in a more communicative way can transform teaching practices, placing communicative abilities at the heart of FL education.

Start date and time
End date and time
Hybrid: online (click here) and at the Utrecht University Hall
PhD candidate
C.M.L. Rouffet
Transforming Foreign Language Teaching Practices through Communicative Classroom-based Assessment Programs
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof. dr. H.C.J. De Graaff
Dr. C.G. van Beuningen PhD