• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages, European Languages, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Policy Studies, Language Studies
  • Work Integrated Learning Other

Modern history is replete with struggles that have resulted in political decisions about language use; some languages are designated as ‘official’ state languages, others are side-lined or even erased. In the modern state, language tests are powerful tools of policy. They can be used to reduce the risk of miscommunication in the workplace, or to measure educational achievement, but they can also be used to filter linguistic diversity or to exclude certain groups. Starting from the concept of ‘a language’, this course explores the complex relationships between language use, language acquisition, and mechanisms, such as policies, standardized tests and assessment processes. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on both theory and practice. Students will examine a range of policy contexts and learn about the principles of language test design and validation, enabling them to make informed connections between government or institutional policies, their instruments and the sociopolitical priorities that drive them. The course is co-constructed: students will contribute to the course content by selecting and reporting on case studies of interest to them. They will gain exposure to a range of relevant genres, including assessment instruments, policy documents, public information, popular media and academic studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. discuss key concepts and theories in the areas of language assessment and language policy;
  2. apply principles and techniques of test design;
  3. critically evaluate the role of language and assessment practices in specific policy contexts;
  4. plan, carry out and write up research on language policy and assessment; and
  5. communicate about language assessment and policy topics to specialist and general audiences.

Work Integrated Learning


In the course "Language, Assessment and Policy", students experience actual assessment and policy practice. In two substantial assessments, they are required to seek assessments and policies from the real world, and analyse and evaluate these in terms of theoretical content from the course. They experience building assessments themselves so that they understand how standardised tests and other kinds of assessments are developed in both industry and education. Students develop skills to go further in the standardised testing industry, as well as for professional development in the education sector.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Engagement tasks, for example quizzes, forum discussions and presentations (10) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. Item analysis (1000 words) (20) [LO 1,2,5]
  3. Case study of an assessment/policy (1000 words) (20) [LO 1,3,5]
  4. Research project (2000 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time comprising:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures, 12 hours of tutorial; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LING6029.

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8695 21 Jul 2025 28 Jul 2025 31 Aug 2025 24 Oct 2025 In Person N/A

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