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IELTS Teacher e-newsletter – October 2019

British Council China staff ready to deliver new language assessment course

On and of September, numerous British Council assessment consultants and examiner team leaders attended a train-the-trainer event in Chongqing to prepare them as trainers of the course “How Language Assessment Works” (HLAW). The training was delivered by Mr. Gordon Allan, who is also one of the developers of this course. After this two-day training, the British Council now has over a dozen trainers qualified to deliver HLAW across China.

While assessment concerns teachers on an almost daily basis, it is often glossed over in teacher training programs. Teachers benefit from assessment literacy not only when delivering preparatory courses for high-stakes proficiency tests such as IELTS, but also when developing classroom tests and even when informally evaluating students’ performance in class. HLAW is a course that aims to introduce basic assessment literacy to teachers, school administrators and other language test stakeholders. While teaching experience is assumed, the course does not require prior knowledge of assessment, meaning HLAW is relevant to a wide range of educational professionals.

The main strength of HLAW is that it not specific to any particular educational context or language test. This means the course content can be applied to any educational context, from public to international high school curriculum to higher education and test preparation courses. Through discussion activities, participants are encouraged to reflect on assessment practices in their own professional context. As a result, participants come away better equipped to produce appropriate classroom assessment tools, make valid decisions based on test results and better prepare students for high-stakes language tests.

HLAW is broken up into five units, one introductory unit and each of the other four devoted to one of the four main skills (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing). The complete course can be delivered over 2 days full-time. Clients can also opt for a selection of units to be delivered over one day, half a day or in combination with other course materials.

As of now, HLAW is one of numerous workshops and presentations related to language assessment that is delivered by the British Council’s East Asia Assessment Solutions Team (EAAST) across China and throughout the wider East and Southeast Asia region. We hope to see you as a participant on the HLAW course sometime soon!

For more information on HLAW or any of the other trainings offered by EAAST, please visit https://www.britishcouncil.cn/en/exams/EAAST/portfolio

by Jan Langeslag



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