I decided to go to Carleton after working as an ESL teacher for five years. The Applied Language Studies program interested me because I wanted to learn new skills that would help me transition into another area of expertise within the field of education. Many of the Linguistic graduate programs across Canada tend to focus their courses on theory rather than applied studies. I wanted to learn applied skills that would translate into the work place. All ALS courses were grounded in theory but they were also blended with applied applications of the theory such as teaching English as a Second Language, curriculum design and language testing. These courses were designed to show students how to take the theory they learned and apply it in a real-life task. As a teacher I was often tasked with creating my own tests for my class but really knew nothing about how to create a test! While studying at Carleton I expanded my language teaching skills, designed a curriculum in my thesis and began my career in language testing with the Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL).After graduation, I moved to Washington, DC to work in the assessment field and currently work for the GED® Testing Service as a Test Development Manager. I have often reflected on my classes at Carleton when I have shared certain resources or references with colleagues. Over the years, I have worked on many different kinds of tests at a variety of companies. I began working on large-scale state assessments for the states of Ohio, Hawaii and the city of Chicago at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). I also led the test development for the Ohio Test of English Language Acquisition (OTELA). After several years of working on large-scale state assessments I decided to shift gears and managed the development of Translation and Interpretation language tests for a number of US Department of Defense contracts. Later, I decided to return to the field of English Language Learners and was offered a position at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) to develop a new nation-wide, innovative test for English Language Learners who are also Significantly Cognitively Disabled for the World-Class Instruction Design and Assessment (WIDA). I am currently working on my next task which is to create a new diagnostic test for test takers who wish to take the new 2014 GED ® Assessment.
(Last updated: November 15, 2010)