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Paris Conference: Language Assessment for Multilingualism

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Europe’s leading association of language assessment bodies is inviting researchers and practitioners to contribute to a major international conference on how language testing can support the learning of a wide range of languages.

Language Assessment for Multilingualism: promoting linguistic diversity and intercultural communication will take place in Paris on 10 and 11 April 2014. It is organised by the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE), a non-governmental organisation that brings together 33 organisations responsible for the assessment of 26 languages. Martin Nuttall from ALTE’s Secretariat explains:

“This conference addresses a pressing issue for education systems in Europe and beyond. As demand for English and other major languages grows, there is a real danger that other national, regional and minority languages will be squeezed out of the picture. Our conference will be looking at the ways in which effective testing can encourage learning across the whole range of languages, and at how the huge body of research on the assessment of English language skills can be applied more widely.”

Plenary speakers for the event include Anne Gallagher, Dr David Graddol, Dr Lid King, Bruno Mègre and Dr Jessica Wu. The full range of topics for the event is shown below:

Mobility

  • Language competence and mobility
  • Lifelong language learning
  • Language assessment for migration and social integration

Diversity

  • Assessing less widely-taught languages
  • Assessing sign language
  • Assessing language for specific purposes

Intercultural Communication

  • Intercultural competence and how it can be assessed
  • Living with a lingua franca

Fairness

  • Ensuring fairness and quality standards in language test administration
  • Assessing candidates with special needs

ALTE welcomes proposals for conference papers on these strands from anyone with an interest in language teaching, learning and assessment, curriculum planning, language policy and other related fields. Proposals can be submitted in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish.

The deadline for proposals is 30 September 2013.

Language Assessment for Multilingualism will be ALTE’s fifth international conference, following events held since 2001 in Barcelona, Berlin, Cambridge and Kraków. These conferences have built an outstanding reputation for the range and quality of the papers presented, for the large and diverse audiences they attract and for the wide-ranging discussion they generate. As with previous conferences, key papers from the event will be published as a volume in the series Studies in Language Testing, published by Cambridge University Press.

For more information on the conference and how to submit a proposal, visit http://events.cambridgeenglish.org/alte-2014/

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