Call for Papers



Abstracts due May 25, 2021
Midwest Association of Language Testers
October 9, 2021
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Conference theme
The evolving role of technology for second language assessment
Plenary Speaker
Professor Elvis Wagner, Temple University


The 22nd annual MwALT Conference will be held in conjunction with the 18th annual Technology for Second Language Learning Conference at Iowa State University.  We are planning on a face-to-face conference, but if it is deemed unsafe to hold a face-to-face conference, we will hold a virtual conference. A final decision about the conference mode of delivery (face-to-face or virtual) will be made by August 25th. Due to logistical constraints, we do not plan to include both face-to-face and virtual delivery modes. Presenters are asked to be flexible in agreeing to share their work either face-to-face or remotely, depending on the circumstances at the time of the conference.

The conference theme, “The evolving role of technology for second language assessment,” invites participants to explore how technology is affecting all facets of language assessment, including not only the technical but also the professional and social aspects of the profession. With the sudden increase in people working and studying remotely in 2020, technology took on a larger role in the language assessment realm. From high stakes standardized tests to low stakes classroom quizzes, technology has been called upon to aid in the delivery of remote assessments. The result has been to rapidly increase the role of technology for language assessment. New and increasing use of technologies have created novel opportunities for test task creation, delivery, scoring, and validation. They have also increased the feasibility of assessment for learning, continuous data collection, and new forms of data analysis. These new technical capabilities demand increased expertise on the part of language testers, who need to shape the future of the profession while engaging with the expanded range of participants in the business of language assessment. Today, for example, the creation and selection of English language tests can be subject to input from players with business-oriented motives and knowledge of technology and social media rather than professional knowledge of language assessment. The 2021 MwALT conference will provide a forum for exploring the technical, professional, social, and political dimensions of this rapidly evolving landscape, as well as the forces that have contributed to this changing role.  Proposals for papers on all aspects of language assessment are welcome, but the organizing committee is particularly interested in papers that consider this theme.


Papers should present theoretical or empirical research. They are 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions. Proposals for empirical studies should provide background and reasons for the research, descriptions of methodology, findings, and implications. Proposals for conceptual papers should introduce the problem addressed in the paper, provide the theoretical orientation or new approach, and indicate the logic of the argument the paper will present. Paper proposals should be less than 300 words.

Technology Demonstrations

Demonstrations allow presenters to showcase software used for any aspect of language assessment development, delivery, or research. They are 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions. Proposals should be less than 300 words and should provide a purpose for the technology, how it can benefit the language testing process, principles of its development, and implications/challenges of its use. Actual demonstrations of the technology and its uses within the 20-minute time limit are preferred, but sessions with screenshots or other ways of showing the technology will be considered.


Posters give presenters an opportunity to discuss assessment research or test development projects with a small group of participants. Presenters should be available to display and discuss their posters during a 60-minute session. Proposals for poster presentations should be less than 300 words.

Research in Progress (Roundtable format)

Research in progress presentations give presenters an opportunity to discuss and get feedback on research or test development projects which are incomplete. Presenters will be given time to share their work and get feedback from small groups of participants. Proposals should be less than 300 words.

Evaluation of Proposals

All proposals will be subject to a double blind review by at least two professionals in the field. Criteria will include the proposal’s clarity, adequacy of the proposer’s fulfillment of the requested characteristics for each of the categories of submission, as well as the overall significance for language assessment. Preference will be given to presenters who are willing to give their papers either in a face-to-face mode or remotely (if conditions do not allow for a face-to-face conference).

Important Dates
Proposal submission website open: March 15, 2021
Abstracts due: May 25, 2021
Conference: October 9th, 2021

ConfTool Link to Submit Proposals

Please click here to access the portal to submit your proposals. Please indicate in the Remark/Message box on the proposal submission page whether you are willing to present face-to-face, online, or both.


Conference Organizing Committee
Gary J. Ockey, Iowa State University
Carol A. Chapelle, Iowa State University
Ananda Muhammad, Iowa State University
Roz Hirch, Iowa State University
Shireen Baghestani, Iowa State University
Reza Neiriz, Iowa State University
Hannah Kim, Iowa State University
Haeyun Jin, Iowa State University
Sondoss Elnegahy, Iowa State University
Yasin Karatay, Iowa State University
Hardi Prasetyo, Iowa State University
Jeanne Beck, Iowa State University
Mutleb Alnafisah, Iowa State University
Abdulrahman Alharthi, Iowa State University