The Reading Language Testing Forum

I’ve just come back from the Language Testing Forum, held at Reading University. I stayed on the Whiteknights Campus, which has some very attractive water gardens and bird life. The theme this year was Assessing Languages in Higher Education, so it seemed very appropriate to go in my role as language tester at the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh. The conference was opened with a discussion on issues related to languages and testing between Professor Barry O’Sullivan, Head of Research and Development at the British Council, and Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor at Reading. There were some excellent presentations including from Chris Smith of Sheffield University who described his reforms to language testing on pre-sessional EAP courses. Other highlights included Liz Hamp-Lyons looking at how language testers and EAP teachers and academics could work more closely together, and John de Jong and Veronica Benigno of Pearson’s examining the CEFR in higher education and their work in developing academic descriptors for the Pearson Global Scale of English.