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Expert from Cambridge Assessment English highlighted the need for English teachers to take a more long-term view of assessment and not just see it as a moment in the classroom. Alberto Costa, Senior Assessment Manager for the Americas, made the comments at this year’s New Directions in English language assessment conference held in Colombia.
The event, which was hosted by British Council, brought together representatives from the higher education sector and ministries of education to look at the impact of English assessment in different learning systems across the Americas.
Alberto Costa showcased the Cambridge English teaching framework, a skills-based framework that helps teachers to identify where they are in their professional development level, where to go next and how they can get there.
‘For some teachers assessment is just a moment in the classroom to give a student a test, but it’s much more than that. We need to look at this longer term and consider how formative, diagnostic and summative assessment all fits together so it encourages the very best learning and teaching. The event was a great opportunity to have these discussions on assessment literacy and the professional development needed for teachers. As we start to move out of the pandemic, we now need to look at how we better equip teachers in the future. They need support with training and we should support them with the information they need on assessment.’
Costa also said that during the pandemic teachers needed to look to alternatives and different approaches to assessment when face to face classroom assessment was not possible. Costa also looked at professional development gaps for teachers and commented on the importance of both pre-service and in-service teachers to understand assessment.
The event looked at high level English language assessment projects across the whole of the Americas. There were also presentations from other researchers and experts from Cambridge Assessment English including some of the latest assessment thinking from Dr Nick Saville who leads the research and thought leadership team at Cambridge.