Language Assessment

Language Assessment specialists gather community information to support strategic language development planning. They also contribute expertise to monitoring language development progress.

Language Surveyor

Language surveyors help assure that situational information and preliminary sociolinguistic analysis are available regarding languages and peoples in a particular geographical area.

Surveyors work on a team under the direction of an experienced language assessment specialist. Surveyors gather both secondary data from libraries, the internet, journals, and linguistic seminars, and primary data through social, linguistic, and sociolinguistic research.

Recommended academic training: Coursework substantially equivalent to the following SIL standard courses:

  • Articulatory Phonetics
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Language and Culture Learning
  • Language and Society
  • Language Survey Principles
  • Phonology

Language Assessment Specialist

Language Assessment Specialists lead language survey teams, or assist communities or language development teams to do sociolinguistic research in support of sound language development planning.

Language Assessment Specialists generally complete a 2-year term of work as a Language Surveyor. Additional training for this role includes the courses required for the Language Surveyor role plus additional professional development in at least one of these following areas:

  • Linguistics (at least two of the following):
    • Morphology and Syntax
    • Linguistic Field Methods
    • Advanced Phonology
    • Historical and Comparative Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics (at least two of the following):
    • Advanced Sociolinguistics
    • Language Contact
    • Language Project Planning & Management
  • Research methods (at least two of the following):
    • Linguistic Field Methods
    • Social Science Research Design
    • Statistical Methods for Social Science
  • Community involvement (at least two of the following):
    • Ethnographic Methods
    • Community Development
    • Scripture Use
    • Training Across Cultures

Language Survey Consultant

Language Assessment Consultants have broad experience in language assessment. An advanced degree, usually in sociolinguistics, is generally required.