Indiana University

The Department of Second Language Studies

Sun-Young Shin

Photo of Sun-Young Shin

Associate Professor of Second Language Studies
(812) 855-8479
Ballantine Hall 716

Research Interests

  • L2 assessment
  • English for specific purposes
  • Language program evaluation
  • Web-based language teaching and testing
  • Standard Setting
  • Statistical analyses for language study


  • Ph.D. 2007. Applied Linguistics. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • M.A. 2002. English as a Second Language. University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
  • B.A. 1998. English Language and Literature. Korea University, Seoul, Korea

Personal Statement

My research mainly focuses on language assessment, SLA, multilingualism, and heritage speaker studies, and my primary research interest lies in language assessment concentrating on the issues in validity of a given language assessment tool. My research is founded on the notion that test validation is viewed as a process of arguing for the intended interpretation of test scores and their appropriateness for the proposed use. This process thus calls for theoretical rationale and evidence to support the claims we make for the intended interpretation and use of the test scores. Based on these premises, my research explores the extent to which various factors affecting performance on language assessments are relevant to and representative of the construct being measured in different contexts. My work draws on theories and concepts from linguistics, second language acquisition, psychometrics, and educational measurement, and applies them to the study of various aspects of language assessment research and practices.


  • Zepada, R., & Shin, S.-Y. (2019). Developing and validating an English proficiency test. MEXTESOL Journal, 43(3), 1-11.
  • Chaisuriya, A., & Shin, S.-Y. (2019). Examining English test practicality among different stakeholders in Thailand. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 16, 107-120.
  • Shin, S. Y. (2018). A special interview with Associate Professor Dr. Sun-Young Shin about Language Assessment. PASAA: A Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, 56, 1-8.
  • Long, A., Shin, S.-Y., Geeslin, K., & Willis, E. (2018). Does the test work? Evaluating a web- based language placement test. Language Learning & Technology, 22, 137-156
  • Shin, S.-Y., & Lidster, R. (2017). Evaluating standard setting methods in an ESL placement testing context. Language Testing, 34, 357-381.
  • Joaquin, A., Kim, H., & Shin, S.-Y. (2016) Examining prewriting strategies in L2 Writing: Do They Really Work? ASIAN EFL Journal, 18(2), 156-189.
  • Shin, S.-Y., Lidster, R., Sabraw, S., & Yeager, R. (2016). The effects of L2 proficiency differences in pairs on idea units in a collaborative text reconstruction task. Language Teaching Research, 20, 366-386
  • Su, Y., & Shin, S.-Y. (2015). Test Review: The New HSK. Iranian Journal of Language Testing, 5, 91-103.
  • Ewert, D., & Shin, S.-Y. (2015). Examining instructors’ conceptualizations and challenges in designing a data-driven rating scale for a reading-to-write task. Assessing Writing, 26, 38-50.
  • Shin, S.-Y., & Ewert, D. (2015). What accounts for integrated reading-to-write task scores? Language Testing, 32, 259-281.
  • Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Shin, S.-Y. (2014). Expanding traditional testing measures with tasks from L2 pragmatics research. Iranian Journal of Language Testing, 4, 26-49.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2013). Developing a framework for using E-portfolios as a research and assessment tool. ReCALL, 25, 359-372.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2013). Proficiency scales. In C. A. Chappelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp.1-7). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2012). Web-based language testing. In C. Coombe, B. O’Sullivan, P. Davidson & S. Stoynoff (Eds.), The Cambridge Guide to Language Assessment (pp.274-279). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2010). The functions of code-switching in a Korean Sunday school. Heritage Language Journal, 7, 91-116.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2008). Examining the construct validity of a web-based academic listening test: an investigation of the effects of constructed response formats in a listening test. The Spaan Fellowship Working Papers in Second or Foreign Language, 6, 95-129. English Language Institute. University of Michigan.

Conference Presentations

  • Ewert, D., & Shin, S. (2019, August). An investigation of vocabulary breadth among diverse undergraduate students at a US university. Paper presented at the 5th World Congress on Extensive Reading, Taichung, Taiwan.
  • Chen, B., & Shin, S.-Y. (2019, March). Validation of retelling as a measure of oral foreign language proficiency. Paper presented at American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Atlanta, GA
  • Shin, S.-Y., Lidster, R., & Lee, S. (2019, March). Examining the effects of foreign-accented lectures on an academic listening test at the item level using differential item functioning analysis. Paper presented at Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), Atlanta, GA.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2018, June). Examining the underlying constructs of narrative and integrated reading-to-write tasks. Paper presented at Asia Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Macau, China
  • Shin, S.-Y., Lidster, R., & Lee, S. (2018, March). The effects of different English varieties on listening comprehension test. Paper presented at American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Chicago, IL.
  • Shin, S.-Y., Lee, S., & Park, Y. (2018, March). Exploring rater behaviors on handwritten and typed reading-to-write essays using FACETS. Paper presented at Language Assessment Research Conference (LARC), Ames, IA
  • Gabriele, L., & Shin, S.-Y. (2017, January) Assessing Outcomes: How do we do it? Paper presented at English USA 9th Annual Professional Development Conference. Middlebury Institute for International Studies, Monterey, CA, United States.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2016, October). Examining the construct validity of Uzbek grammar test. Paper presented at Second Conference on Central Asian Languages and Linguistics (ConCALL-2), Bloomington, IN.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2016, June). The effects of test task and pairing types on heritage and non-heritage Korean learners’ speaking performance. Paper presented at Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), Palermo, Sicily.
  • Shin, S.-Y., Cho, S., Kim, H., Moon, S., & Park, M. (2016, April). Developing and validating outcomes-based self-assessments for measuring reading proficiency of Korean as a foreign language. Paper presented at American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Orlando, FL.
  • Ewert, D., & Shin, S.-Y. (2016, April). Data-driven reading evaluation in a reading-to-write placement task. Paper presented at American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Orlando, FL.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2015, April). Investigating the validity of KFL text difficulty as defined by the ILR reading scales. Paper presented at National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), Washington, D.C.
  • Lidster, R., & Shin, S.-Y. (2015, March). Developing and validating achievement-based assessments of student learning outcomes in an Intensive English Program. Paper presented at Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), Toronto, Canada
  • Shin, S.-Y., & Choi, J. (2015, March). Modeling the relationship between social-psychological factors and L2 proficiency among Chinese learners of Korean. Paper presented at American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Toronto, Canada.
  • Joaquin, A., Kim, H., & Shin, S.-Y. (2015, March). Examining prewriting strategies in L2 Writing: Do They Really Work? Paper presented at Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Toronto, Canada.
  • Shin, S.-Y. (2014, October). Investigating the rater bias patterns in reading-to-write tasks using FACETS. Paper presented at Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT), Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Shin, S.-Y., & Lee, H. (2014, June). Validating a semiadaptive web-based Korean placement test. Paper presented at American Association of Teachers of Korean (AATK), Boston, MA

Courses Taught

  • SLS S305 SLA & Language Instruction
  • SLS T500(a) Web-based Language Teaching & Testing
  • SLS T500(b) L2 Program Evaluation
  • SLS T522 Survey of Applied Linguistics
  • SLS T550 Language Testing
  • SLS S532 Models of SLA
  • SLS S600 Quantitative Research for Language Study
  • SLS S650 Design and Development of Language Assessment
  • SLS S700 Seminar in Applied Linguistics (Advanced issues in language assessment)

The learning of second and foreign languages is a rich and fascinating process involving linguistic, psychological, cultural, and social dimensions. The Indiana University Department of Second Language Studies is dedicated to teaching and research on the structure, acquisition, and use of nonnative language in both instructed and contact contexts.