Dr Karen Ashton staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 84445

Dr Karen Ashton PhD

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Education

Karen Ashton is a Senior Lecturer in language education and research methodology. She has worked on several large-scale and high profile language projects (European Survey on Language Competences and Asset Languages) in the UK (University of Cambridge), and is an experienced and passionate teacher educator. Her research interests include policy, assessment, comparative education, pedagogy for differentiation, and research methodologies with a focus on mixed methods research. While her research is generally within a language education context, she also has an interest in broader education issues.

Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: +64 6 351 3390 (extn: 84445)
    Location: CV2.09, Collinson Village
    Campus: Turitea

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy - Cambridge University (2009)
  • Master of Arts - Cardiff University (2004)
  • Bachelor of Arts - Victoria University (1998)
  • Bachelor of Commerce - Victoria University (1998)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

  • Foreign language learning and teaching
  • ESOL and TESOL
  • Policy and assessment
  • Differentiation and mixed-ability/level teaching
  • Comparative education
  • Research methodology, particularly mixed methods research.

Projects

  • MURF funded project titled Multi-level languages classrooms: What are the challenges and how do teachers cope? [2016]
  • Project titled A case study of the Japanese programme at Massey University: enrolment patterns and concomitant environmental factors. [2015]
  • A New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) funded project titled Investing in Educational Success model: Critical Evidence review. [2014-2015]
  • A Sasakawa Fellowship Foundation project titled Japanese language education in New Zealand: An evaluative literature review of the decline in students since 2005. [2012-2013]
  • Project Manager for the European Survey on Language Competences (UK), (initiated and funded by the European Commission), which tested the language skills of 55,000 secondary school pupils in 14 European countries. [2008-2012]
  • Research lead for Asset Languages, a multilingual assessment project (UK) derived from the UK's National Languages Strategy. Her role included test validation and managing a research agenda including cross-language and framework comparability. [2004-2008]

Thematics

21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics (200401):
Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education (130302): Curriculum and Pedagogy (130200): Education (130000): Education Systems (130100):
Languages, Communication And Culture (200000): Linguistics (200400):
LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Maori) (130207): Specialist Studies in Education (130300): Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 1

Research Outputs

Journal

Carusi, FT., Rawlins, P., & Ashton, K. (2017). The ontological politics of evidence and policy enablement. Journal of Education Policy. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02680939.2017.1376118?journalCode=tedp20
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K., Carusi, F., Rawlins, P.
Ashton, K. (2016). Assessing foreign language students' spoken proficiency: Stakeholder perspectives on assessment innovation.. The TESOLANZ Journal. , 93-95
[Book Review]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2016). Multi-level teaching research. : International Languages Exchanges and Pathways (ILEP) Learning Languages Newsletter, Vol. 3
[Internet publication]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2016). Read, J. (2015). Assessing English proficiency for university study. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137495891. 272 pp. [book review]. New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics. 22(1), 59-59
[Book Review]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2016). Reading approach and strategy use across languages in an assessment context: does one-size fit all?. Language Learning Journal. , 1-15 Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rllj20
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2016). Reflections on international comparative education survey methodology: a case study of the European Survey on Language Competences. Compare. 46(3), 414-434
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2014). Using self-assessment to compare learners' reading proficiency in a multilingual assessment framework. System. 42(1), 105-119
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2013). Reflections on the European Survey on language competences: Looking back, looking forwards. Research Notes. (52), 20-23 Retrieved from http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/139525-research-notes-52-document.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Jones, N., & Ashton, K. (2013). The European Survey on language competences. Academic Exchange Quarterly. 17(1), 127-132 Retrieved from http://rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/spr2013.htm
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K., Salamoura, A., & Diaz, E. (2012). The BEDA impact project: A preliminary investigation of a bilingual programme in Spain. Research Notes. 50, 34-42 Retrieved from http://www.cambridgeesol.org/rs_notes/rs_nts50.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2011). Comparing proficiency levels in an assessment context: The construct of reading for secondary school learners of German, Japanese and Urdu in England. Japanese Language and Literature. 45(2), 347-348
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2010). Comparing proficiency levels in a multi-lingual assessment context. Research Notes. 42, 14-15 Retrieved from http://www.cambridgeesol.org/rs_notes/rs_nts42.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2006). Asset Languages update. Research Notes. 25, 21-21
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2006). Can Do self-assessment: investigating cross-language comparability in reading. Research Notes. 24, 10-14 Retrieved from http://www.cambridgeesol.org/rs_notes/rs_nts24.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Jones, N., Green, K., Ashton, K., & Chen, A. (2005). Constructing the languages ladder: Challenges facing the asset languages project. ALTE News. Winter 2004 - Spring 2005, 5-9 Retrieved from http://piaf.ciep.fr/_DELF_DALF/Documents/alte_newsletter.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Jones, N., Ashton, K., & Shi-Yi Chen, A. (2005). Rising to the challenge of Asset Languages. Research Notes. 19, 2-4 Retrieved from http://research.cambridgeesol.org/research-notes/issue-19-february-2005
[Journal article]Authored by: Ashton, K.

Book

Ashton, K., & Shino, P. (2016). Table talk: interpreting enrolment patterns in Japanese at Massey University. In M. Ogino, P. Shino, & D. Nesbitt (Eds.) Creating new synergies: Approaches of tertiary Japanese programmes in New Zealand. (pp. 43 - 90). Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Ashton, K., Shino, P.
Jones, N., & Ashton, K. (2015). The European survey on language competences. In A. Franca Plastina, E. Di Martino, B. Di Sabato, & M. Pasqua (Eds.) Language in society and professional domains: Linguistic and educational issues. (pp. 10 - 14). New York: Academic Exchange Quarterly
[Chapter]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Jones, N., Ashton, K., & Walker, T. (2010). Asset languages: A case study of piloting the CEFR Manual. In W. Martyniuk (Ed.) Studies in Language Testing 33. Aligning tests with the CEFR: Reflections on using the Council of Europe's draft manual. (pp. 227 - 246). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2008). The languages ladder and asset languages: A new assessment framework for languages in England. In C. Kenner, & T. Hickey (Eds.) Multilingual Europe: Diversity and learning. (pp. 175 - 177). Staffordshire, UK: Trentham Books
[Chapter]Authored by: Ashton, K.

Thesis

Ashton, K. (2008). Comparing proficiency levels in an assessment context: The construct of reading for secondary school learners of German, Japanese and Urdu in England. (Doctoral Thesis)
[Doctoral Thesis]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2004). Rape media texts: Does the gender of the victim result in a difference in reporting style?. (Master's Thesis, University of Cardiff)
[Masters Thesis]Authored by: Ashton, K.

Report

Rawlins, P., Ashton, K., Carusi, T., & Lewis, E. (2015). Investing in educational success: An investigation of the evidence base.
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Ashton, K., Carusi, F., Rawlins, P.
McGee, A., Ashton, K., Dunn, K., & Taniwaki, T. (2013). Japanese language education in New Zealand: An evaluative literature review of the decline in students since 2005. IPC Tertiary Institution.
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K., Jones, N., Maris, G., Schouwstra, S., Verhelst, N., Partchev, I., . . . Ryssevik, J. (2012). Technical report for the first European Survey on Language Competences. European Commission.
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Jones, N., Kortes, J., Gille, E., & Ashton, K. (2012). Final report for the first European Survey on Language Competences. European Commission.
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2011). The BEDA impact project: A preliminary investigation of a bilingual programme in Spain. FERE-CECA Madrid (Federación Española de Religiosos de la Enseñanza/Federation of Catholic Schools in Madrid).
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Verhelst, N., Jones, N., Ashton, K., Robinson, M., Chattopadhyay, M., Illyes, A., . . . Hideg, G. (2009). Interim report for the European Survey on Language Competences. European Commission.
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Verhelst, N., Jones, N., Ashton, K., Robinson, M., Rubini, V., Chattopadhyay, M., . . . Hideg, G. (2008). Inception report for the European Survey on Language Competences. European Commission.
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Ashton, K.

Conference

Ashton, K. (2016, November). It’s a juggling act: Assessing learners in the multi-level language classroom. Presented at ALTAANZ 2016 In the classroom and beyond: Assessing language ability in different contexts. Auckland, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2016, July). Teaching multi-level languages classes: Challenges and coping strategies. Presented at NZ Association for Language Teachers (NZALT) Conference 2016. Nelson, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2015, November). Methodology, policy and practice: A case study of the European Survey on Language Competences. Presented at ALAA/ALANZ/ALTAANZ Learning in a multilingual world. Adelaide, Australia.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2015, November). Minding the gap from methodology to policy: The European Survey on Language Competences. Presented at Language, Education and Diversity (LED). Auckland, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2014, January). Large scale international surveys: New methodology needed?. Presented at Conducting Cross-Cultural, Cross-National Research in International Settings. Bangkok, Thailand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2013). The European survey on language competences: Comparing language learning and proficiency across Europe. , ALANZ & ALAA 2013 Conference
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2013, November). The European survey on language competences: Comparing language learning and proficiency across Europe. Presented at ALANZ & ALAA Conference. Victoria University Wellington.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K., Hirata, A., & Taniwaki, T. (2012, December). Sasakawa Japanese Language Education Fund Research Project. Presented at The Tertiary Teaching of Japanese in New Zealand Symposium: Issues in the Asian Century. Palmerston North, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2012, October). Community and ‘foreign’ language learners: Different types of learners with different needs. Presented at Community Languages and English for Speakers of Other Languages (CLESOL): Emerging opportunities in new learning spaces. Palmerston North, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2012). Community and ‘foreign’ language learners: Different types of learners with different needs. In CLESOL Programme Abstracts(pp. 36 - 36). , http://www.clesol.org.nz/2012/CLESOLAbstracts.pdf [CLESOL]: Emerging opportunities in new learning spaces New Zealand: http://www.clesol.org.nz/2012/CLESOLAbstracts.pdf
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2011, November). Researching impact in an educational assessment context. Presented at II CONGRESO DE BILINGÜISMO BEDA, ERE-CECA Madrid (Federación Española de Religiosos de la Enseñanza/Federation of Catholic Schools in Madrid). Madrid, Spain.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2011, July). The European survey on language competences. Presented at Association of Language Testers in Europe 4th International Conference (ALTE). Krakow, Poland.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K., & Jones, N. (2011). SurveyLang and the European survey on language competences. Poster session presented at the meeting of Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE), Krakow. Krakow
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Jones, N., & Ashton, K. (2011, June). The European survey on language competences: Constructing comparable multilingual tests aligned to the CEFR. Presented at Language Testing Research Colloqium (LTRC). Michigan, USA.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K., & Wright, A. (2009, May). Developing a suite of multi-lingual assessments. Presented at Language Teaching Symposium. Ghent, Belgium.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K.(2008, April 10). Studying impact in a new assessment framework. , Association of Language Testers in Europe 3rd International Conference
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K., & May, V. (2007, June). “Small rewarding steps”: Assessing learners and supporting teachers in UK classrooms. Presented at European Association of Language Testers (EALTA). Sitges, Spain.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2006). Cross-language comparability in a new assessment framework for reading. Poster session presented at the meeting of Cambridge Linguistics (CamLing), Cambridge. Cambridge
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2006, June). Can do self-assessment: Investigating cross-language comparability in reading. Presented at Language at the University of Essex Postgraduate Conference (LangUE). Essex, England.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2006, April). Self-assessments for comparing learners' language proficiency. Presented at Cambridge Educational Research Association (CamERA). Cambridge, UK.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Jones, N., & Ashton, K. (2005, June). Adapting the CEFR for Non-Latin script languages. Presented at European Association of Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA). Voss, Norway.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2005, May). Standardising speaking tests for the languages ladder: A case study across 3 languages and levels.. Presented at Association of Language Testers in Europe 2nd International Conference (ALTE). Berlin, Germany.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K., & Jones, N. (2004, November). Constructing a multi-lingual levels system – Asset Languages. Presented at Language Testing Forum. Lancaster, UK.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.

Other

Khalifa, H., & Ashton, K. (2012, February). Researching impact in an educational assessment context. In Cambridge Assessment Network, Cambridge, UK.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2011, January). Comparing language learning and proficiency across Europe. In Second Language Education Group (SLEG), University of Cambridge, UK.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2010, December). The European survey on language competences. In Centre for Applied Language Research (CALR) Seminar, University of Southampton, UK.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.
Ashton, K. (2007, January). "Can you read what I can read?: Case studies of German, Japanese and Urdu learners". In Second Language Education Group (SLEG), University of Cambridge, UK.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ashton, K.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 1 0
CoSupervisor 2 1

Teaching

Karen teaches on a range of courses providing expert input on language learning, TESOL and research methodology.

Karen is also the Coordinator for the MEd TESOL Leadership and PG DIp Ed TESOL Leadership programmes.

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Ong-Art Namwong - PhD
    Learner-centred Approaches in Teaching English in Thailand

CoSupervisor of:

  • Thi Dang - PhD
    The belief change of pre-service teachers in an ESP teacher education program
  • Timu Niwa - Doctor of Education
    Ma Wai Ke?: An Exploratory Mixed-Methods Study on Teacher Enactment of the Ka Hikitia Policy

Completed Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • 2017 - Fareeha Javed - PhD
    Pakistani Learners' Transition into University

Media and Links

Media

  • 30 Jun 2012 - Newspaper
    Call to make learning languages compulsory
    Article for the Manwatu Standard
  • 20 Jul 2012 - Other
    Study encourages early language lessons for kiwis
    Massey University news story
  • 20 Aug 2016 - Magazine
    Language learning: Speak to me
    The Listener
  • 17 May 2016 - Radio
    Maths, science and global competence?
    Radio New Zealand
  • 07 May 2015 - Online
    NZ policy silent on language learning
    Massey University news story
  • 02 Jul 2012 - Newspaper
    Broaden kids horizons by learning languages
    Newspaper column for The Tribune
  • 01 May 2014 - Newspaper
    Going places with languages
    Newspaper column for The Tribune

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