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Mikyung Kim Wolf

Researcher at the Center for Language Education and Assessment, Educational Testing Service
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About Mikyung

Wolf's research focuses on technology-enhanced language assessments, alignment among standards, assessments and curricula/instruction, formative assessment, and validity issues in assessing K-12 English language learners in the U.S. as well as in global contexts. Overarching themes in Wolf's writings include the development of sound assessment tools and appropriate use of those tools to serve English language learners and their educators. Wolf has served on the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) executive board (2019-2020) and is a founding member of the ILTA Language Assessments for Young Learners SIG. She is also an associate editor of Language Assessment Quarterly.


Alignment Is an Equity Issue for Students Acquiring English in U.S. Schools

    Alison Bailey , Laura Ballard


"Young Adolescent EFL Students’ Writing Skill Development: Insights From Assessment Data" (with Saerhim Oh, Yuan Wang, and Fred S. Tsutagawa). Language Assessment Quarterly 15, no. 4 (2018): 311-329.

Performs a detailed analysis of student essays to identify possible patterns in the development of young adolescent EFL students’ academic writing ability. Explores how linguistic characteristics, such as lexical, syntactic, and discourse features, as well as organizational and content features specific to the argumentative writing genre, were examined by using automated writing evaluation tools and human ratings. 

"English Language Proficiency Assessments for Young Learners" (edited with John M. Norris, James E. Purpura, Steven John Ross, Xiaoming Xi, and Yuko Goto Butler) (Routledge, 2017).

Illustrates rigorous processes of developing and validating assessments with considerations of young learners’ unique characteristics.  Defines school-age children from approximately 5 to 13 years old, learning English as a foreign language (EFL) or a second language (ESL).

"Next-Generation Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for English Learners: Priorities for Policy and Research," (with Danielle Guzman-Orth and Maurice Cogan Hauck), ETS Research Report Series, November 4, 2016.

Focuses on summative ELP assessments that states use for accountability purposes. Identifies critical policy and research issues.  Highlights the challenges associated with measuring ELP in a diverse group of EL students and recommend ways to embrace and support EL students through shared goals and active communication across federal agencies, state agencies, local agencies, researchers, and practitioners.

"Validating English Language Proficiency Assessment Uses for English Learners: Academic Language Proficiency and Content Assessment Performance" (with Molly Faulkner-Bond). Educational Measurement Isses and Practice 35, no. 2 (2016): 6-18.

Studies the types of language proficiency measured in three sample states’ ELP assessments and the relationship between each type of language proficiency and content assessment performance. Reveals notable variation in the presence of academic and social language in the three ELP assessments.

"Alignment as a Fundamental Validity Issue in Standards-Based K-12 English Language Proficiency Assessments" in Another Generation of Fundamental Considerations in Language Assessment, edited by Gary J. Ockey and Brent A. Green (Springer, 2020), 95-111.

Discusses how Bachman and Palmer’s Assessment Use Argument framework helps us integrate an expanded view of alignment by reinforcing consideration of the consequences of assessment uses in validity. Mentions a range of pressing areas of research on alignment evaluation for K-12 ELP assessments is also discussed.

"Assessing English Language Proficiency in U.S. K–12 Schools" (Routledge, 2020).

Addresses a variety of key issues involved in the development and use of those assessments: defining an ELP construct driven by new academic content and ELP standards, using technology for K–12 ELP assessments, addressing the needs of various English learner (EL) students taking the assessments, connecting assessment with teaching and learning, and substantiating validity claims.