About this webinar

This webinar looks at practical examples of how language assessment has been implemented in Latin America. The examples look at different levels of the education system and therefore focus on different stakeholders. Each of the projects discusses challenges and lessons learnt from their implementation and provides recommendations for future work in this area


Alberto Costa - Senior Assessment Services Manager for Cambridge Assessment English in the Americas

He holds the Cambridge RSA Diploma for Overseas Teachers of English (DOTE) and has a specialization in teacher training (PRINSELT) from the College of St. Mark & St. John in Plymouth, UK. He has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and academic consultant for 30 years, having also worked as a course tutor for the teaching qualifications CELTA, ICELT and DELTA. Based in Brazil, he has been in Cambridge Assessment English for 3 years and continuing professional development for teachers is one of his key interests.


A survey made by his team in the Americas showed that assessment was one of the areas teachers were struggling with this year, mainly because they could not give learners a typical classroom test during their emergency remote teaching. Requests for support included how to assess learners in this situation and diagnosing whether learners were ready for an external exam. In this presentation, Alberto Costa will report on one of the actions they took, the “Next stop: Assessment for Learning” series of webinars, aiming to provide support with diagnostic and formative assessment and to increase success in summative assessment.

Erica Balazs - Assessment Consultant for The British Council Global Assessment team (Madrid, Spain)

She holds a master’s degree in International Education and TESOL qualification from SIT Graduate Institute. Erica has conducted teacher training workshops and examined for high-stakes exams internationally with extensive experience in Mainland China and Indonesia. She has been involved in several assessment projects involving test development, content creation, and stakeholder engagement. Her research interests include language assessment literacy and productive skills.


Her study seeks to investigate teachers’ views on their own professional development needs concerning the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) to inform course development for teacher training. Though the CEFR has been used worldwide to inform language policy, develop curricula and syllabi, and develop tests, its impact is less visible at the classroom level and in teacher education. Involvement of teachers in identifying their professional development needs is an essential starting point for course and material development, thus data for this study was collected from questionnaires distributed to a sample of teachers in Colombia, Spain, and Malaysia. Initial findings reveal that most of the teachers are interested in and support CEFR professional development but, due to their limited awareness about the CEFR found it difficult to articulate knowledge gaps and what areas should be focused on during training to improve teaching and learning in the classroom.

Edgar Picón - Professor and Research Coordinator, School of Languages, Universidad de Antioquia (Medellin, Colombia)

FL teacher with an MA in TESOL from Greensboro Colleague, US. Research Coordinator of the School of Languages at Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia. His interests regarding research are language assessment and testing, learner autonomy, and teacher autonomy. His professional experience includes teaching EFL in different contexts, teaching LAL courses at the undergraduate and graduate programs, coordinating language programs at the university level, coordinating the "Grupo de Investigación Acción y Evaluación en Lenguas Extranjeras" (GIAE) at Universidad de Antioquia, and leading curricular innovations in the area of classroom based assessment.


Edgar Picón will present lessons learnt from his research work on the implementation of alternative approaches of assessment in the EFL classroom with the intention to foster consolidate an assessment as learning culture.