Dynamic assessment (DA) breaks the traditional dichotomy between assessment and instruction by including mediation in assessment procedures (Poehner, 2008). The focus of DA is on how students learn and change with mediation rather than what they can do alone. Traditionally, DA requires the presence of a person as the mediator to guide another individual’s learning. Recently, scholars have begun conducting second language (L2) DA research in a computerized format (C-DA) in which preprogrammed mediation is integrated into online assessment procedures. This presentation reports on a project that applied the C-DA framework to assess L2 Chinese learners’ pragmatic competence, with a focus on comprehension of indirect speech acts. Following an overview of the theory and methods, the findings center around L2 Chinese learners’ unassisted and assisted performance. Implications of these findings were further discussed in relation to the link between learners’ emerging abilities revealed through C-DA and teaching pragmatics.
Dr. Tianyu (Sophie) Qin is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Modern and Classical Languages from the University of North Georgia (UNG). Her research in second language acquisition focuses on the assessment and teaching of interlanguage pragmatics. She approaches her work from the perspective of sociocultural theory, which views pedagogy as foundational to research. Before joining UNG, Dr. Qin taught various levels of Chinese language and culture courses at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carnegie Mellon University, and Indiana University Bloomington.