http://static.guim.co.uk/static/f8df97e0df9f9797bda45deb8c5c707dc4e88eaf/common/images/logos/the-guardian/professional.gifDiane Schmitt gives the lecturer's perspective on the role English language plays in university learning and teaching
Where do you work and what is the focus of your role?

I teach on an MA in English language teaching at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) where most of my students are international. I also teach English for academic purposes (EAP), mainly in-sessional at the moment. Historically, when my university had a very small scale international office, its English language entry requirements were set based on my advice. Now this role is mainly carried out by staff in marketing.
What is your involvement in English language testing?

My main role is outside my institution working with BALEAP, a global forum for EAP professionals. Prior to becoming chair of BALEAP, I was testing officer on its executive for five years and led a working party that developed a new set of guidelines on English language tests for university entry. The aim was to raise awareness among admissions staff and decision makers in universities about how to select appropriate exams for assessing English language readiness for university. Essentially, the guidelines provide guidance on the right questions to ask about the validity and reliability of any given test in relation to making university admissions decisions. Read more...