One of the most elusive areas in language teaching is objective assessment of speaking and writing skills. Not only can it become a nightmare for young teachers without experience but it can also make more experienced teachers ask themselves whether their criteria have always been comprehensive and fair enough. In view of this, any additional practice and experience sharing in the field of testing and assessment is more than welcome, and support from national and international organisations for promotion of language quality services in providing assessment benchmarks is indispensable.
For that purpose, Lingva has organised two in-house workshops aimed at CEFR-based speaking assessment standardisation training, as recommended by YALS Association of Language Schools of Serbia and on the basis of instructions provided by EAQUALS.
In the first workshop held on 15 October 2010, the main emphasis was placed on familiarising teachers with CEFR speaking overviews and descriptors.
In the second workshop on 14 December 2010, filmed samples of CEFR-calibrated oral production were used as benchmarks and teachers were asked to rate both spoken production and interaction performance of selected students, first individually, than in groups.
The main objective of both workshops was to further develop a common interpetation of the CEFR levels by Lingva teachers, at both an individual and collective level, and at the same time help them achieve consistency in their continuous assessment of students’ competence in English. The next workshop to be held in spring 2011 will deal with writing assessment standardisation.