Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.




Second Language Listening Tests: What Can Test-Takers’ Eye Movements Tell Us?

Empirical evidence suggests that videos can help develop second language (L2) listening ability, but the listening sections of major language tests (e.g., IELTS) still rely heavily on audio- only prompts. As a result, the way we teach listening skills is different from how we assess them. This discrepancy may be partially attributed to the limited understanding of the extent to which L2 listening entails the ability to comprehend auditory input vs. visual input. To increase this understanding, it is necessary to know how exactly test takers engage with videos during listening tests. My study will track listeners’ eye movements during L2 listening tests and include in-depth interviews to discuss their perceptions of those tests. The findings of this study will inform the design of future video-based listening assessments. Moreover, this research will have pedagogical implications for integrating videos in both the teaching and assessment practices of language teachers.

Shanshan He
PhD candidate, Education Studies
Faculty of Education - Western University

Ruslan Suvorov


Shanshan He is a PhD student in applied linguistics at the University of Western Ontario in the Faculty of Education. Her research focuses on technology-assisted language assessment and learning. She also holds Master's degrees in TESOL and applied linguistics. As a life-long English learner and teacher, she actively participates in English teaching for several years in China. Shanshan has given presentations at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.

You can connect with Shanshan on the web at, and on LinkedIn at

View Shanshan's work as it appears in the Inspiring Minds Digital Collection:

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