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Language Testing as a Profession: An Interview with Yan Jin

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Lin Zhang
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

This is an interview with Dr. Yan Jin, professor of linguistics and applied linguistics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Chair of the National College English Testing Committee in China. In this interview, Dr. Yan Jin discusses how she started her career as a language tester and why she has dedicated herself to the language testing profession. She looks back on her 30 or so years of experience working with the large-scale, high-stakes College English Test (CET) developed by language testers in China, and introduces the important measures that have been taken to maintain the high quality of the CET and to adapt the test to meet changing social needs. She stresses the need for language testing professionals to consider their social responsibilities and take care of the social dimension of language testing. She also comments on the recent development of the national standards of English proficiency in China and the relationship between the language standards and English curricula and assessments. She further describes her active involvement in community services in the field of language testing and assessment which she believes has contributed to her professional career as a language tester. At the end of the interview, she provides valuable advice, based on her testing research experience, to young testing researchers and prospective researchers in the field, which can be very helpful on their path to pursuing language testing as a profession.


Language testing practitioner, large-scale language testing, College English Test, fairness and social justice, social responsibility