CaMLA’s internship program provides professional training and research opportunities for English language teaching and assessment professionals and graduate students. This is the third of three pieces we are posting about how our 2013 interns are getting along during their time at CaMLA.
Geoff LaFlair is working on his PhD at Northern Arizona University in applied linguistics, with a research focus on language assessment. He applied for the CaMLA internship because he wanted the opportunity to work on diverse language testing research projects.
The first half of my internship has flown by and the experience has been excellent! This is probably due to both the great people who work at CaMLA and the interesting projects that I am working on.
Everyone at CaMLA is easy to work with, and it is great being surrounded by a group of people who are interested in language testing. CaMLA’s research director, Dr. Jayanti Banerjee, has gotten me involved in a number of research projects involving the MELAB. These include a standard-setting study, a test score variability study on the speaking section, and a differential item functioning study on the listening and GCVR sections. These three projects are providing me with opportunities to apply what I have been learning in my PhD program at Northern Arizona University and to stretch the boundaries of my skills to learn more about broad range of research conducted to ensure the quality of language assessments.
My days in Ann Arbor are not filled only with work. I am enjoying cookie and cake breaks at the Jefferson Market & Cakery. Also, my family and I have had some opportunities to enjoy the city’s park system, and we have made it to a few great restaurants downtown, too. Being originally from Michigan, it is nice that my wife, son, and I can get up to see our families on a regular basis. We are looking forward to the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair next week, and we recently spent the Fourth of July holiday up north on Lake Michigan.