Our guiding light for questionnaire validation methods and understanding the link between psychometrics and linguistics


Cooperation with universities is in our DNA: researcher Aletta Grisay from the University of Liège was our first mentor and, since then, our methodology and our empirical results have been a work in progress, repeatedly submitted to and discussed with eminent researchers—constructive criticism at its best. Our network of linguists and domain experts was primarily built through our university network. 


1. University of Massachusetts Amherst
Aletta Grisay introduced us to Prof. Ronald K. Hambleton from UMass Amherst, the driving force behind the ITC Guidelines for translating and adapting tests, which became our guiding light. The subsequent exchanges were instrumental in shaping our understanding of the link between psychometrics and linguistics when dealing with test translation. We delved into the IRT (item response theory) and, later, into measurement invariance with Prof. Stephen Sireci.


2. University of Liège
Our first partner was the Service de Pédagogie expérimentale (Centre of Experimental Education), which later became the Service d’analyse des Systèmes et des Pratiques d’enseignement (aSPe, Department Analysis of Systems and Practices in Education). Because they work on the implementation and analysis of PISA, PIRLS and TALIS, there is an overlap with our work, and our working relationship of over two decades has also fed into our insights of international large-scale assessments.


3. Janet Harkness

We first met Prof. Janet Harkness at the International Test commission’s conference in Brussels, in 2006 and discussed our framework for the translation of scales. Mutlilingual questionnaire validation had been at the heart of Prof. Harkness’s research for many years, and we started a biweekly conference call on guidelines for survey translation and adaptation. This led to our participation in CSDI (Comparative Survey Design and Implementation) and the publication of an article in a Wiley Book the late Prof. Harkness edited. We deeply miss her mentorship.


4.  Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
We often exchange with the TRADITAL Centre for Language Engineering from the University of Brussels. We jointly proposed a project for a research grant, and three of the members of our team studied there, did their internship at cApStAn, and stayed.


5. Applied Linguistics Departments
We are in direct contact with Applied Linguistics Departments in Asian and African universities, and this is our preferred network to find expert linguists and have access to subject matter experts.


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