Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments

Shaping English Language Assessments
with Research + Experience

An Intern’s Words: YunDeok Choi
September 11, 2017
Categories: Internships, News

CaMLA’s internship program provides professional training and research opportunities for English language teaching and assessment professionals and graduate students. In 2017, CaMLA welcomed two interns. The following is from YunDeok Choi, one of our 2017 interns.

YunDeok Choi did her MA in Second Language Studies at University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, her MS in Linguistics at Georgetown University, and received her BA in English Language and Literature from Sunkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea. She currently is working on her PhD dissertation study, “Investigating the Validity of a Graphic-Prompt Writing Test: An Argument-Based Approach,” under the guidance of Professor Carol Chapelle, and is teaching an oral communication strategies class for international students at Iowa State University.

YunDeok with Cambridge Michigan assessment staff.

YunDeok (center) with some of the Cambridge Michigan team.

I became interested in the CaMLA internship for two reasons. First and foremost, CaMLA is a well-established testing company that is well known to many testing people, and many graduate students desire to work at CaMLA (either as an intern or as a full-time worker). So I thought that I would learn a lot about language testing best practices, especially with regard to test development. Secondly, I read the previous interns’ words on the website and the impression that I got was that CaMLA had a warm and hard-working environment full of approachable people. I had never worked at a testing company before, so I wanted to start my career at a friendly place where I could get a lot of support. CaMLA was by far a greater place than I expected.

In my internship I hoped to gain hands-on professional experience in language testing; I wanted to learn what testing professionals did, and how they did the work. Before starting the internship program, I had only a vague idea. However, while doing the internship, I began having clearer ideas about their business and work—I learned the importance of teamwork by observing and participating in the projects that CaMLA staff involved—luckily, I worked on some of the projects (small part of an item bank project and test revision project) with them. My main project (primarily individual, but I worked under Nic May’s guidance) was creating a report that addressed the feasibility of machine scoring of writing for several of CaMLA’s tests. This involved a thorough literature review and an analysis of several of CaMLA’s current writing tasks.

I am sure the practical hands-on experience at CaMLA at both an individual and a team level will be helpful for my future career as a language testing professional, without regards to the place I work (either a school or company). And I think there’s no better place to work than CaMLA, and to live than Ann Arbor. CaMLA guarantees a quality life for their staff, including interns, and Ann Arbor is a place full of pleasant events and activities; people will never get burned out working at CaMLA and living in Ann Arbor.

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