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Picture of Qian, David (Prof.)
Qian, David (Prof.)
Adjunct Professor

Qualifications:
Doctor of Philosophy
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto

Master of Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto

Room No.AG425
Tel
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Teaching Areas

Language testing, assessment and evaluation
Psycholinguistics and second language learning
Research methodology
Lexical semantics
English for academic and professional purposes  

Research Interests

Applied linguistics
Large-scale standardized testing
Performance assessment
Teacher-based alternative assessment
Vocabulary assessment and acquisition
Language assessment policy
Assessment and evaluation in professional contexts
Learner corpora and occupation-specific corpora
Communication in professional workplaces
Educational measurement

Professor David D. Qian has served as Professor of Applied Linguistics and Language Assessment in the Department of English, Director of the PolyU-Tsinghua U Centre for Language Sciences, and Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Professional Communication in English. He received his PhD in Second Language Education and Assessment from the Modern Language Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto in 1998. In 2000, he joined the English Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University after completing a TOEFL 2000 Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Research Division of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), USA, the global leader in educational testing and assessment. At ETS, David worked as a Principal Investigator for two TOEFL 2000 research projects to model the relationship between the breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension in the context of developing new measures for assessing reading performance. Findings from these projects have been published in Language Learning and Language Testing.

With a professional background in psychometrics, narrative inquiry and ethnography, David is interested in multifaceted research in a number of areas in applied linguistics. He has published extensively in a large number of internationally refereed journals, including Assessment in Education, Canadian Modern Language Review, Crosslinks in English Language Teaching, Hong Kong Linguist, Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Learning, Language TestingLanguage Testing in Asia, RELC Journal, and TESL Canada Journal. David has been a member of editorial boards of several top-tier international journals, including Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Testing, and Reading in a Foreign Language. Just recently, he has guest-edited (with Alister Cumming) a Special Issue of Language Assessment Quarterly (14, 2) on High-Stakes English Language Testing in China.

David has taught for 40 years in universities and adult education settings in Hong Kong and Mainland China, Canada, and the UK. David has supervised a large number of doctoral and master’s theses. Courses and course components he has taught in recent years include research methods, psycholinguistics and language acquisition, corpus linguistics, educational measurement, and statistics (SPSS) for the Doctor of Applied Language Sciences Programme, and language testing and assessment for MA in English Language Studies.

David co-founded the Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA) in 2014, served as its Co-President from 2014-2015, and has been the AALA President since January 2016. He has consulted for a number of institutions and government departments, including the Hong Kong Examination and Assessment Authority, Civil Service Bureau, Research Grants Council, Educational Testing Service in the USA, and Language Training and Testing Center in Taiwan.

Professional Memberships

  • International Association for Language Testing (ILTA)
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc (TESOL)
  • Asia Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (Asia TEFL) 
  • Asian association for Language Assessment (AALA)

Funded Research Projects

  1. Profiling Spoken Meta/Discourse Features in Real Academic Settings: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective. Principal Investigator. TOEFL Committee of Examiners 2012 Research Grant. Educational Testing Service, USA.
  2. A Register Analysis of Advanced GEPT Examinees' Written Production. Principal Investigator. 2012-2013 LTTC-GEPT Research Grant, Language Training and Testing Center, Taiwan.
  3. Investigating the Validity Argument in Developing Large-Scale Language Tests. Principal Investigator. PolyU Central Research Grant.
  4. Computerizing dynamic assessment for an English reading comprehension test. Co-Investigator. (PI: Yang Yanfeng). China Ministry of Education Research Grant.
  5. Perspectives of Linguistic Variations in the Use of English for Written Professional Communication: A Corpus-based Investigation of Chinese Learners. Principal Investigator. GRF-Related Grant.
  6. School-based Assessment as a High-Stakes Examination Component: Benefits and Issues. Principal Investigator. iCRG
  7. Assessing Professional Communicative Competence of Professionals in Engineering. Principal Investigator.Dean’s Research Grant, Faculty of Humanities.
  8. Perspectives on the learning and use of English for professional purposes in Hong Kong. Co-Investigator. (PI: Stephen Evans). GRF Grant, Research Grant Council of Hong Kong.
  9. Excellence in Work-Integrated Education: Evaluation Evidence of Achievement of Learning Outcomes. Co-Investigator (PI: Winnie Cheng). OBE Grant.
  10. Investigating needs and fears of BA students towards the capstone project in language studies. PolyU DLTC Project Grant.
  11. The Use of English in the Professional Workplace. Co-Investigator (PI: Stephen Evans). GRF-Related Grant.
  12. Assessing English Proficiency: A Survey of Policy and Practices.Principal Investigator.DRG.
  13. Implementing Alternative Language Assessment: Issues and Challenges for Assessors. Principal Investigator. iCRG.
  14. A Comparative Analysis of English Learners’ Written Output from Two Learning Contexts. Principal Investigator. CERG-Related Grant.
  15. A World of Professional Discourse: Profiling English in Specialized Corpora. Co-Investigator (PI: Martin Warren). PolyU Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme.
  16. A Corpus-Driven Investigation into Linguistic Features in Argumentative ESL Writing. Principal Investigator. DRG.
  17. Computerizing Test Takers’ Response Data for Linguistic Analysis: A Corpus Study. Principal Investigator. DRG.
  18. Profiling Thresholds of Workplace English for Recent University Graduates in Hong Kong. Principal Investigator. Competitive Earmarked Research Grant (CERG), Research Grant Council of Hong Kong.
  19. Comparing PolyU Students’ Performances on Two Standardized English Proficiency Tests. Principal Investigator. Dean’s Research Grant, Faculty of Communication.
  20. A Profile of PolyU Graduates Who Performed Well in Both Chinese (including Putonghua) and English in the Graduating Students Language Proficiency Assessment (GSLPA). Co-Investigator (PI: Daniel So). iCRG.
  21. Development of an Entry English Assessment for Engineering Students. Project Leader. PolyU CSE Grant.
  22. Performance on Workplace English Language Tests: Comparing GSLPA and BULATS. Co-Investigator (PI: Tom Lumley). DRG.
  23. Development and Validation of theGraduating Students’ Language Proficiency Assessment - English (GSLPA). Project Coordinator. PolyU Central Fund.
  24. Developing a Vocabulary Knowledge Measure for Assessing Reading Performance on TOEFL 2000. Principal Investigator. TOEFL 2000 Grant. Educational Testing Service, USA.
  25. Validating the Role of Depth of Vocabulary Knowledge in Assessing Reading for Basic Comprehension Tasks in TOEFL 2000. Principal Investigator. TOEFL 2000 Grant. Educational Testing Service, USA.

Research Supervision  

Postdoctoral Fellowship Project

  • A World of Professional Discourse: Profiling English in Specialized Corpora.

Doctoral Theses

  • The role of vocabulary knowledge in the writing of EFL learners
  • Promoting L2 English learners’ reading ability through computerized dynamic assessment
  • Evaluating the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension in English as a foreign language
  • Developing Rating Quality of ESL Writing Assessment: A Multi-dimensional Approach
  • Conceptual transfer and second language vocabulary acquisition: Evidence from Chinese learners of English
  • The roles of depth of vocabulary knowledge in assessing EFL learners’ writing proficiency
  • Towards a common oral analytic rating scale in a multimodal context: A corpus-based validation study
  • The influence of raters’ gender and occupational knowledge on the process of assessing ESP oral proficiency
  • A Comparative analysis of the new CET-4 and TOEFL iBT from the communicative perspective
  • Process and product: An Investigation of test takers’ strategy use and language performance on a semi-direct oral test
  • The washback of TOEFL on Chinese learners: An empirical study
  • The washback of the national Spoken-English Test on Chinese college students’ learning to speak English

Selected Refereed Publications

  1. Qian, D. D. & Lin, H. L. (forthcoming). The relationship between vocabulary knowledge and language proficiency. In S. Webb (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of vocabulary studies. Oxford, UK: Taylor & Francis.
  2. Qian, D. D. & Pan, M. (2017). Politeness in business communication: Investigating English modal sequences in Chinese learners’ letter writing. RELC Journal.
  3. Qian, D. D. & Cumming, A. (Eds.) (2017). High-stakes English language testing in China. Special Issue, Language Assessment Quarterly, 14(2).
  4. Qian, D. D. & Cumming, A. (2017). Researching English language assessment in China: Focusing on high-stakes testing. Special Issue on High-stakes English Language Testing in China, Language Assessment Quarterly, 14(2), 97-100.
  5. Pan, M. & Qian, D. D. (2017). Embedding corpora into the content validation of the grammar test of the National Matriculation English Test (NMET) in China. Language Assessment Quarterly, 14(2), 120-139.
  6. Yang, Y. F. & Qian, D.D. (2017). Assessing English reading comprehension by Chinese EFL learners in computerized dynamic assessment. Language Testing in Asia, 7(11), 1-15.
  7. Qian, D. D. (2016). Move features in the discourse of university lectures: A multidimentional interdisciplinary study. Final Research Report. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
  8. Qian, D. D. (2015). Project-based group assessment in the second language classroom: Understanding university students' perceptions. In G. Yu & Y. Jin (Eds.), Assessing Chinese learners of English: Language constructs, consequences and conundrums (pp. 176-198). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  9. Qian, D. D. (2015). Investigating the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and academic reading performance: An assessment perspective’, Language Learning, 2002, 52, 513–36. Republished in A. J. Kunnan (Ed.), Language testing and assessment, Vol. II, Reading and writing. New York: Routledge. 
  10. Qian, D. D. (2015). English language assessment in Hong Kong: A survey of practices, developments and issues’, Language Testing, 2008, 25, 85–110. Republished in A. J. Kunnan (Ed.), Language testing and assessment, Vol. IV, Looking forward. New York: Routledge. 
  11. Qian, D. D. (2014). A register analysis of the GEPT Advanced Level examinees’ written production. LTTC-GEPT Research Reports RG-04. Taipei: Language Training and Testing Centre.
  12. Qian, D. D. & Li, L. (Eds.) (2014). Teaching and learning English in East Asian universities: Global visions and local practices (478 pp). New Castle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  13. Qian, D. D. (2014). School-based English Language Assessment as a high stakes examination component in Hong Kong: Perceptions and insights of frontline assessors. Assessment in Education: Principle, Policy & Practice, 21 (3), 251-270.
  14. Qian, D. D. (2014). Promoting learner autonomy: Evaluating three learning modes in a university ESP course. In D. D. Qian & L. Li (Eds.), Teaching and learning English in East Asian universities: Global visions and local practices (pp. 170-193). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  15. Qian, D. D. & Pan, M. (2014). Profiling prevailing EFL lists in China: Streamlined and academic? In D. D. Qian & L. Li (Eds.), Teaching and learning English in East Asian universities: Global visions and local practices (pp.378-399). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  16. Liu, M. & Qian, D. D. (2014). Investigating the legitimacy of decisions on CET-4 scores: Applying an Assessment Use Argument.  In D. D. Qian & L. Li (Eds.), Teaching and learning English in East Asian universities: Global visions and local practices (pp. 19-36). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  17. Pan, M. & Qian, D. D. (2014). Nonverbal delivery in speaking assessment: An MTMM validation study. In D. D. Qian & L. Li (Eds.), Teaching and learning English in East Asian universities: Global visions and local practices (pp.37-62). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  18. Qian, D. D., & Pan, M. (2014). Response formats. In A. Kunnan (Ed.), Companion to Language Assessment (pp. 860-875). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
  19. Pan, M., & Qian D. D. (2014). Assessing language varieties. In A. Kunnan (Ed.), Companion to Language Assessment (pp.265-282). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
  20. Shi, L. & Qian, D. (2012). How does vocabulary knowledge affect Chinese EFL learners’ writing quality in web-based settings? Evaluating the relationships among three dimensions of vocabulary knowledge and writing quality. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 35 (1), 117-127.
  21. Qian, D. D., & Li, Y. Y. (2011). Specificity in clusters: Profiling the discourse of the financial services industry in Hong Kong. In S. Etherington (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2009 BELEAP Conference: English for specific purposes (pp. 58-66). Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing Ltd.
  22. Qian, D. D. (2011). The reliability of self-assessment: How it contributes to measuring programme-intended learning outcomes. In Z. Lü, & W. Zhang (Eds.), Issues in English language teaching and learning at tertiary level. Beijing: Tsinghua University.
  23. Zhang, G. X. & Qian, D. D. (2011). English metaphors we lived by in the financial tsunami. In Z. Lü, & W. Zhang (Eds.), Issues in English language teaching and learning at tertiary level. Beijing: Tsinghua University.
  24. Qian, D. D. & Pan, M. (2011). Book review: Practical language testing by Glenn Fulcher. Language Assessment Quarterly, 8 (3).
  25. Qian, D. D. (2011). Modality in business requests: A corpus-driven comparison of Hong Kong and British Englishes.  In L. J. Zhang, R. Rubdy, & L. Alsagoff (Eds.), Asian Englishes: Changing perspectives in a globalised world (pp. 99-113). London: Pearson Education Longman Limited.
  26. Qian, D. D. (2010). Investigating if-conditionals in business letter writing: A corpus-based study. In L. Li & D. D. Qian (Eds.), English language education in Asian universities: Classroom practices and research issues (pp. 46-55). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
  27. Liu, M., & Qian, D. D. (2010). Evaluating the new College English Test Band 4: A preliminary investigation. In L. Li & D. D. Qian (Eds.), English language education in Asian universities: Classroom practices and research issues (pp. 12-22). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
  28. Li, L. & Qian, D. D. (Eds.) (2010). English language education in Asian universities: Classroom practices and research issues. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
  29. Li, Y., & Qian, D. D. (2010). Profiling the Academic Word List (AWL) in a financial corpus. System, 38(3).
  30. Qian, D. D. (2010). Alternative assessment procedures for language classrooms: Perceptions of frontline school teachers. In T. Kao & Y. Lin (Eds.), A new look at language teaching and testing: English as a subject and vehicle (pp. 273-294). Taipei: Language Training and Testing Centre.  
  31. Qian, D. D. (2010). Modality and request-making: A Study of Chinese EFL learners. In Z. Lu, W. Zhang & P. Adams (Eds.), ELT at Tertiary Level in Asian context: Issues and research. Beijing: Tsinghua University.
  32. Qian, D. D. (2010). Implementing School-based Assessment in Hong Kong: Government policy and stakeholders’ reactions. In Z. Lu, W. Zhang & P. Adams (Eds.), ELT at Tertiary Level in Asian context: Issues and research. Beijing: Tsinghua University.
  33. Liu, W.  & Qian, D. D. (2009). The influence of raters’ levels of occupational knowledge on the process of assessing ESP oral proficiency. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Teaching English at Tertiary Level (pp. 41-47). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
  34. Qian, D. D. (2009). Using English for workplace communication: A study of novice professionals. In W. Cheng & V. Bhtia (Eds.), Partnerships in action: Research, practice and training. Hong Kong: Asia-Pacific Rim LSP and Professional Communication Association.
  35. Qian, D. D. (2009). Linguistic error or regional variety? Investigating modality in business writing. In L. J. Zhang, R. Rubdy, & L. Alsagoff (Eds.), Englishes and Literatures-in-English in a globalised world (pp. 162-175). Singapore: National Institute of Eduation, Nanyang Technology University.
  36. Qian, D. D. (2009). From TOEFL pBT to TOEFL iBT: Recent trends, research landscape and Chinese learners. In L. Cheng & A. Curtis, (Eds.), English language assessment and the Chinese learner (pp. 216-251). New York, NY: Routledge.
  37. Qian, D. D. (2009). Comparing direct and semi-direct modes for speaking assessment: Affective effects on test takers. Language Assessment Quarterly, 6(2), 1-13.
  38. Qian, D. D. (2009). Conducting alternative assessments in the classroom: What do teachers know? In Language Teaching and Training Center(Ed.), Proceedings of the 2009 LTTC International Conference on English Language Teaching and Testing (pp. 1-15). Taipei: Language Teaching and Training Center.
  39. Qian, D. D. (2008). From single words to passages: Contextual effects on predictive power of vocabulary measures for assessing reading performance. Language Assessment Quarterly, 5(1), 1-19.
  40. Qian, D. D. (2008). English language assessment in Hong Kong: A survey of practices, developments and issues. Language Testing, 25(1), 85-110.
  41. Qian, D. D. (2007). Assessing English language performance: Teachers’ perceptions of alternative assessment. In C. Gitsaki (Ed.), Language and languages: Global and local tensions (Chapter 12, pp. 201-217). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  42. Qian, D. D. (2007). Assessing university students: Searching for an English language exit test. RELC Journal, 38(1), 18-37.
  43. Qian, D. D. & Chow, D. (2007). Bringing corpora to the EST classroom: Issues and benefits. In M. Warren, J. Wen, X. Xu, F. Li, Y. Li, & Y. Wang (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2006 International Symposium on Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching (pp. 765-771). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
  44. Qian, D. D. (2005). Assessing English writing for professional communication: A perspective from employers. Crosslinks in English Language Teaching, 2, 105-122.
  45. Qian, D. D. (2005). Why engineers need to be multilinguists: Perspectives of employers and employees. In E. Witte, L. Van Mensel, M. Pierrard, L. Mettewie, A. Housen, & R. De Groof (Eds.), Language, Attitudes & Education in Multilingual Cities (pp. 199-210), Wetteren: Universa Press.
  46. So, D., Chan, W., Lau, K. & Qian, D. D. (2005). A profile of good learners of Chinese and English at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In E. Witte, L. Van Mensel, M. Pierrard, L. Mettewie, A. Housen, & R. De Groof (Eds.), Language, Attitudes & Education in Multilingual Cities (pp. 181-198), Wetteren: Universa Press.
  47. Qian, D. D. (2005). Demystifying lexical inferencing: The role of aspects of vocabulary knowledge. TESL Canada Journal, 22(2), 34-54.
  48. Qian, D. D. (2005). Measuring lexical richness in business English writing: A study of Chinese learners. The Hong Kong Linguist: Jubilee Version, 25, 36-42.
  49. Qian, D. D. (2005). Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) language tests. In S. Stoynoff & C. Chapelle (Eds.), ESOL tests and testing: A resource for teachers and administrators (43-48). Waldorf, Maryland: TESOL Publications.
  50. Qian, D. D. (2004). Second language lexical inferencing: Preferences, perceptions and practices. In B. Laufer & P. Bogaards (Eds.), Vocabulary in a second language: Selection, acquisition and testing (Chapter 8, 155-169). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  51. Qian, D. D. (2004). Establishing parameters for assessing vocabulary. Language Assessment Quarterly 1, 1, 57-61.
  52. Qian, D. D., & Schedl, M. (2004). Evaluation of an in-depth vocabulary knowledge measure for assessing reading performance. Language Testing 21, 1, 28-52.
  53. Lumley, T., & Qian, D. (2003). Assessing English for employment in Hong Kong. In C. Coombe & N. Hubley (Eds.), Assessment Practices (135-147). Waldorf, Maryland: TESOL Publications.
  54. Qian, D. D. (2002). Investigating the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and academic reading performance: An assessment perspective. Language Learning. 52, 3, 513-536.
  55. Qian, D. D. (1999, March). The value of vocabulary knowledge measures in predicting ESL reading comprehension. Paper presented at AAAL 1999, Stamford, CT, USA. ERIC ED433704.
  56. Qian, D. D. (1999). Assessing the roles of depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension. Canadian Modern Language Review, 56, 2, 282-307.
  57. Qian, D. D. (1996). ESL vocabulary acquisition: Contextualization and decontextualization. Canadian Modern Language Review, 53, 1, 120-142.  

Professional Services  

  • President, Asian Association for Language Assessment
  • Expert Advisor, Hong Kong Public Service Bureau
  • External Reviewer for the Hong Kong Research Grants Council
  • Co-President, Asian Association for Language Assessment
  • Expert Advisor to the Hong Kong Examination and Assessment Authority
  • Reviewer for the TOEFL Committee of Examiners, Educational Testing Service, USA
  • Elected Member of Nominating Committee 2009, International Language Testing Association
  • External Examiner for the Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Member, AS Level Use of English Examination Subject Committee, Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority
  • Member of Editorial Board, Reading in a Foreign Language, University of Hawai’i
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Language Assessment Quarterly, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Language Testing, SAGE Publications
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Board, TESOL Journal, TESOL
  • Manuscript Reviewer for the following international refereed journals: 
    > Applied Linguistics. Oxford University Press
    > Applied Psycholinguistics, Cambridge University press
    > Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
    > Canadian Modern Language Review. University of Toronto Press
    > English for Specific Purposes: An International Research Journal. Elsevier
    Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Elsevier
    > Language Assessment Quarterly: An International Journal. Routledge,Taylor and Francis Group
    > Language, Culture and Curriculum. Multilingual Matters
    > Language Learning: A Journal of Research in Language Studies. Language Learning Research Club, University of Michigan
    > Language Learning and Technology. University of Hawai’i and Michigan State University
    > Language Testing. SAGE Publications
    > Modern Language Journal. National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations
    > Reading in a Foreign Language, University of Hawai’i
    > Reading Research Quarterly. International Reading Association
    > TESL Canada Journal, TESL Canada Federation
    > TESOL Journal. TESOL
    > TESOL Quarterly. TESOL
  • Conference Proposal Reviewer for:
    > WACE 17th World Conference on Corporative Education and Work-integrated Learning (WACE 2010) 
    > Convention of American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) (2008 - 2010)
    > Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC 2010), (since 2007)

Administrative Posts and Committee Memberships Served at PolyU

  • Senate Member, PolyU
  • Director, PolyU-Tsinghua U Centre for Language Sciences 
  • Deputy Director, Research Centre for Professional Communication in English
  • Strand Leader (Second Language Education), Doctor of Applied Language Sciences
  • Programme Leader, M.A. in English Language Studies
  • Coordinator for  Research in Applied Linguistics
  • Member, Faculty Board, Faculty of Humanities   
  • Member, Departmental Staffing Committee
  • Member, Departmental Research Committee
  • Member, Departmental Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Member, Academic Regulations Committee 
  • Member , CoGUR Sub-Committee on Community, Organization and Globalization, PolyU