Dr Noriko Iwashita, Senior Lecturer and Applied Linguistics Discipline Coordinator, School of Languages and Cultures 

Noriko Iwashita joined The University of Queensland in 2005. Prior to joining UQ, she was a Research Fellow at the Language Testing Research Center (LTRC) . At the LTRC she was involved in a variety of projects ranging from language assessment to bilingual and foreign language education in ESL, Japanese and other languages (e.g., Chinese and Indonesian). She was involved with colleagues at the LTRC in three large ETS (Educational Testing Service, USA) research projects funded for the development of a new TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) speaking test. She taught Japanese at various levels in Melbourne for many years and taught Applied Linguistics courses and supervised undergraduate and graduate students' research projects at The University of Melbourne and Universities in the USA.

Dr Kayoko Hashimoto, Lecturer and Japanese Discipline Coordinator, School of Languages and Cultures 

Kayoko has expertise in Japan's language policy for English as a foreign language and Japanese as the national language. Studies of language policy contribute to our understanding of dynamics between state control and individual empowerment in the increasingly fluid geopolitical environment. As a language educator and researcher in Australia, the knowledge of language policies in the world is essential to deliver language programs effectively, meeting needs of both domestic and international students with diverse backgrounds and setting future directions of Australia's multilingual and multicultural society. The majority of her past work focuses on Japan's language policy in education in relation to English language teaching and internationalisation. For the last five years, it has extended to language policy for Japanese language teaching outside and inside Japan, which has brought a new perspective to her research – language teaching as a source of diplomacy and a solution for domestic and regional issues.


The study investigates how teacher perceptions of proficiency and achievement guide their assessment and classroom practices. This is a part of a large-scale study for benchmarking of assessment procedures of tertiary language courses. UQ School of Languages and Cultures offers eight foreign languages with 2000 enrolments each year. Despite comparable linguistic goals across language courses, assessment practices vary significantly. In order to ensure fairness and consistency in standardisation of student learning outcome, a large-scale project has been undertaken to examine current assessment procedures and academic achievement standards with an aim to revise and align assessment internally, across language programs, and externally, with an international benchmarking framework (the CEFR). The initial benchmarking exercise has revealed no one single school approach to assessment regardless of language typology (i.e., Asian or European languages). It is well acknowledged that teachers’ knowledge and beliefs guide their practice in the classroom, but relatively little research has been undertaken in university language programs. This paper reports on the preliminary findings of the large-scale project focusing on the investigation of teacher knowledge and beliefs about proficiency and achievement in relation to their assessment and classroom practices. The analysis of surveys and group interviews reveal that teachers articulate their knowledge and beliefs about proficiency and achievement, and their assessment and classroom practices in relation to curriculum and their own learning experience. The teachers’ education and language backgrounds are two of the most influential factors in the way their knowledge and beliefs are shaped. These findings provide useful information to enhance “culture of assessment”, which is understood as shared attitudes, approaches, and understandings that support the evaluation of student learning outcomes through on-going workshops.

About Research Seminar Series

The School of Languages and Cultures Research Seminar Series provides an opportunity to hear from the School's researchers as well as visitors on a range of topics from the following research areas: Linguistics, Second Language Studies, Studies in Culture, and Translation and Interpreting

Research Seminars are only available for UQ students and staff. 



Sir Llew Edwards Building (#14),
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