New Directions 2019

Theme: Professionalising English assessment in learning systems: sharing practicalities and implications.

The 2nd New Directions conference in Latin America taking place at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia will focus on professional development in the area of English language assessment at all levels of the education system; the impact of planned, systemic, high-quality investment in development, the practicalities of implementing such programmes and the implications of not.

The significance of assessment in learning systems is rapidly increasing. The impetus for this has been the rapid growth in global mobility for education and employment, as well as demands for accountability. On a macro level, global education systems have attempted to place assessment in the foreground as they plan for a more mobile, linguistically proficient and skilled labour force. English Language proficiency is one of the key indicators of success in gaining access to education and better employment prospects. On a micro level this has had a huge impact on those working with these national and sometimes regional changes, giving rise to accelerated interest in professional development and training in all areas of assessment to ensure the highest quality of assessment practices and procedures for learners.

This year’s conference will explore how institutional, national and even regional systems attempt to professionalise the variety of stakeholders involved in deciding, planning and implementing programmes and the English language assessments with which they work.

Our 2020 speakers:

  • Barry O’Sullivan (British Council)
  • Beverly Baker (University of Ottawa)
  • Isabel Longres (University of Montevideo & Plan Ceibal)
  • Fumiyo Nakatsuhara (University of Bedfordshire)

The sub-themes are:

  •  Language assessment literacy

 -       Who needs language assessment literacy?

 -       The role of language assessment literacy in professionalising learning systems

 -       Examples of language assessment literacy initiatives

  •  Assessing productive skills

 -       Large scale assessment of the productive skills

 -       Developing assessments for the productive skills

 -       Scoring productive skills

  •  Operationalising the ESP construct

 -       Examples of ESP assessment in action

 -       Developing ESP assessments for specific sectors