Lia Margaret Plakans

Lia Margaret Plakans

Associate Professor
N274 Lindquist Center
Teaching and Learning
Iowa City, IA 52242
lia-plakans@uiowa.edu
319-335-5565 (phone)
319-335-5608 (fax)

Academic History

  • Ph.D. in Foreign Language/ESL Education, The University of Iowa, 2007
  • M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language/Applied Linguistics, Iowa State University, 1997
  • B.A. in Anthropology & Psychology, The University of Iowa, 1991

Expertise

  • Language assessment
  • Second language reading & writing

Research Interests

  • Language Assessment
  • Second Language Reading and Writing
  • Test use

Teaching Interests

  • Methods for Second Language Reading and Writing
  • Language Assessment
  • Second/Foreign Language Teaching Methods
  • Language Planning in Education

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning, Foreign Language/ESL Education, The University of Iowa
  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, Foreign Language Education, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Fulbright Scholar, University of Latvia & Stockholm School of Economics

Professional Service

  • Journal Editorial Board, Assessing Writing, 2013–current.
  • Editorship, TESOL Quarterly Journal, Brief Reports and Summaries Section, 2012–current.
  • Journal Editorial Board, Language Testing, 2012–current.
  • Editorship, Associate Editor, Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012–current.
  • Journal Editorial Board, Language Assessment Quarterly, 2005–current.

Professional Activities and Membership

  • American Association of Applied Linguistics
  • American Educational Research Association
  • International Language Testing Association
  • Midwest Association of Language Testers
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • Banks, K., Plakans, L. M., & Kim, J. Assessing the Effect of Language Demand on Bundles of Math Items for ELL Students. Language Assessment Quarterly.
  • Plakans, L. M., Alper, R., Colvin, C., Aquilino, M., Ali, S. R., Louko, L., & Zembrowski, T. Envisioning engagement: A working group’s journey to bring public engagement into focus on campus. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.
  • Plakans, L. M., & Burke, M. (2013). The decision making process in language program placement: Test and non-test factors interacting in context. Language Assessment Quarterly.
  • Plakans, L. M., & Gebril, A. (2013). Using multiple texts in an integrated writing assessment: Source text use as a predictor of score. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(2), 217-230.
  • Gebril, A., & Plakans, L. M. (2013). Toward a transparent construct of reading-to-write tasks: The relationship between discourse features and proficiency. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10(1), 9-27.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2013). Writing scale development and use in a language program. TESOL Journal, 4(1), 151-163.
  • Yang, H. C., & Plakans, L. M. (2012). Second language writers' strategy use and performance on an integrated reading-listening-writing task. TESOL Quarterly, 46(1), 80-103.
  • Plakans, L. M., & Gebril, A. (2012). A close investigation into source use in L2 integrated writing tasks. Assessing Writing, 17(1), 18-34.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2010). Independent vs. integrated writing tasks: A comparision of task representation. TESOL Quarterly, 44(1), 185-194.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2009). The role of reading in integrated L2 writing tasks. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 8, 252-266.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2009). Discourse synthesis in integrated second language writing assessment. Language Testing, 26(4), 561-587.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2008). Comparing composing processes in writing-only and reading-to-write test tasks. Assessing Writing, 13, 111-129.

Books and Book Chapters

  • Plakans, L. M. (2013). Written Discourse. In Kunnan, A. (Ed.) Companion to Language Testing Boston, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2012). Writing Integrated Assessment. In Fulcher, G., & Davidson, (Eds.), Handbook of Language Testing Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Selected Presentations

  • Plakans, L. M. (2014, April 18). Issues of Integrating Skills for Language Assessment. Keynote Address given at the International Conference on Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching (Taiwan), Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Plakans, L. M., Crusan, D., & Schmitt, D. (2014, March 29). Assessment in English Language Teaching: Reviewing Essentials. Workshop lead at the TESOL International Conference, Portland, OR.
  • Plakans, L. M., & Ohta, R. (2013, November 3). Understanding accommodation and modification for ELs in classroom based assessments. Paper presented at the Iowa Culture and Language Conference, Coraville, Iowa.
  • Plakans, L. M., Chvala, L., & Folgenfeldt, M. (2013, March). Contexts of language teacher education: A cross-cultural study of preparation programs. Paper presented at the American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference, Dallas, Texas.
  • Matsuda, P. K., Plakans, L. M., Crusan, D., Sasaki, M., & Jeffery, J. (2013, March). Reexamining Writing Assessment Rubrics in the Classroom. Presented at the TESOL International, Dallas, Texas.
  • Schmitt, D., Plakans, L. M., & Crusan, D. (2013, March). Are you assessment literate?: Developing assessment knowledge for the classroom. Workshop lead at the TESOL International Conference, Dallas, Texas.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2012, June). Putting feedback in a box: The benefits and challenges of rubric development in academic writing. Paper presented at the Norwegian Forum for English for Academic Purposes, Oslo, Norway.
  • Crusan, D., Plakans, L. M., & Gebril, A. (2012, April). Writing assessment literacy: A survey of teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practices. Poster presented at the Language Testing Research Colloquium, Princeton, NJ.
  • Plakans, L. M., & Bilki, Z. (2012, March 31). Cohesion in second language reading materials: Balancing connection and difficulty. Paper presented at the International TESOL Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Plakans, L. M., Mroz, A., Visser, C., & Cotos, E. (2011, September). Investigating innovative assessment tasks. (Invited colloquium organizer). . Presented at the Midwest Language Testing Association Conference, Ames, IA.
  • Plakans, L. M., & Gebril, A. (2011, May). The use of source texts in integrated writing assessment tasks. Paper presented at the Language Testing Research Colloquium, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2011, March). Integrating language skills in assessment: Problems and solutions. Presented at the International TESOL Conference.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2010, March). Developing a data-driven writing scale: One step forward, a half step back. Paper presented at the American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Plakans, L. M. (2010, March). Second language acquisition for all teachers: A study of a teacher preparation course. Paper presented at the American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Plakans, L. M., & Burke, M. (2010, March). Flavors of formative assessment: Bridging theory and the classroom. Paper presented at the International TESOL Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.

Selected Contracts and Grants

  • Schrier, Leslie Lisbeth (Principal Investigator), Plakans, Lia Margaret (Co-Investigator), & Wesely, Pamela Mary (Senior Personnel), "Bridging academic content and English language learning to prepare Iowa teachers of English Learners (EL Bridge Project)," Sponsored by US Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition, Federal Government, $1874029. (April, 2012).
  • Plakans, Lia Margaret (Principal Investigator), "Discourse features, organizational structures, and source use in TOEFL iBT integrated writing tasks," Sponsored by Education Testing Service Committee of Research, Private, $99906. (August, 2009–August, 2011).