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Training workshops before June 2015

Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning, ECML - EC  Cooperation Agreement - “Relating language curricula, tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference (RELANG) ”

Training workshops 2014-2015

  Greece 18-20 May 2015
Venue: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Experts:
José Nojons, the Netherlands; Évelyne Bérard, France
Local Coordinator:
Marina Mattheoudakis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Participants:  School advisors, teacher trainers, language teachers
Workshop summary

The RELANG workshop provides training to teacher trainers, school advisors, test item writers, curriculum developers, policy makers in relating language examinations to the levels of proficiency as these are defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in a valid and equitable way. The RELANG workshop that was held in Thessaloniki, Greece on 18-20 May, 2015 was attended by 25 foreign language educators from various geographical regions in Greece and proved to be both highly informative and stimulating. The workshop provided participants with principles of test construction and demonstrated in a clear way how their tests can be linked to the CEFR; participants appreciated both the theoretical background provided but also the practical tips. In particular, they commented on the comprehensive and coherent content of the workshop, on the usefulness of the support materials, on the step-by-step methodology followed by the team experts who presented it, and on its relevance to their everyday needs. The workshop was highly interactive as participants were required to comment on foreign language tests that have been used in the Greek educational context, design their own tests and relate them to CEFR. This hands-on experience was found to be very helpful as it gave participants the opportunity to comprehend the principles behind test construction and to exchange views and opinions about language assessment and testing in general.

Greek version

Το εργαστήριο RELANG στοχεύει στην εκπαίδευση εκπαιδευτών, σχολικών συμβούλων, σχεδιαστών εξεταστικών ερωτημάτων, σχεδιαστών προγραμμάτων σπουδών, φορέων χάραξης γλωσσικής πολιτικής. Η εκπαίδευση αυτή αφορά στον έγκυρο συσχετισμό γλωσσικών τεστ με τα επίπεδα επάρκειας, όπως αυτά ορίζονται στο Κοινό Ευρωπαϊκό Πλαίσιο Αναφοράς για τις Γλώσσες (ΚΕΠΑ). Το εργαστήριο RELANG το οποίο πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Θεσσαλονίκη στις 18 - 20 Μαΐου, 2015 παρακολούθησαν 25 εκπαιδευτικοί ξένων γλωσσών από διάφορες γεωγραφικές περιοχές της Ελλάδας. Το εργαστήριο υπήρξε κατατοπιστικό αλλά και ιδιαίτερα ενδιαφέρον αφού έδωσε λεπτομερείς πληροφορίες στους συμμετέχοντες σχετικά με τις αρχές σχεδιασμού ενός τεστ και τον τρόπο σύνδεσης των γλωσσικών τεστ με το ΚΕΠΑ. Οι συμμετέχοντες αξιολόγησαν θετικά τόσο το θεωρητικό υπόβαθρο του σχεδιασμού γλωσσικών τεστ, αλλά και τις πρακτικές συμβουλές που δόθηκαν από τους εισηγητές. Ειδικότερα, σχολιάστηκαν πολύ θετικά (α) το κατατοπιστικό και συνεκτικό περιεχόμενο του εργαστηρίου, (β) η χρησιμότητα του υποστηρικτικού υλικού, (γ) η μεθοδική παρουσίαση της πληροφορίας από τους εισηγητές και (δ) η σχετικότητα του εργαστηρίου για τις καθημερινές ανάγκες των εκπαιδευτικών. Το εργαστήριο ήταν άκρως διαδραστικό καθώς οι συμμετέχοντες κλήθηκαν να σχολιάσουν πραγματικά γλωσσικά τεστ που έχουν χρησιμοποιηθεί στο ελληνικό εκπαιδευτικό πλαίσιο, να σχεδιάσουν δικά τους γλωσσικά τεστ και να τα συσχετίσουν με το ΚΕΠΑ. Αυτή η εμπειρική προσέγγιση βοήθησε τους συμμετέχοντες να κατανοήσουν τις αρχές που διέπουν τον σχεδιασμό και την κατασκευή των γλωσσικών τεστ και να ανταλλάξουν απόψεις και γνώμες σχετικά με τη αξιολόγηση ξένων γλωσσών γενικότερα.

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   Ireland 28-30 April 2015
Venue: Marino Institute of Education, Dublin
Experts:
Jana Berešová, Slovak Republic; Gábor Szabó, Hungary
Local Coordinator:
Karen Ruddock, Post Primary Languages Initiative
Participants: Stakeholders from Post-Primary Languages Initiative (PPLI), Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), State Examinations Commission (SEC), National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)
Workshop summary

RELANG provides a training opportunity within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the European Commission on Innovative Methodologies and Assessment in Language Learning.

In Europe most foreign language teaching and learning is benchmarked against the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for language proficiency. This workshop is a means of equippping stakeholders in post-primary education with the tools to construct and administer tests and exams based on the CEFR.

Having language qualifications benchmarked against the CEFR is seen as a way of increasing mobility opportunities across Europe, where CEFR levels are widely understood and used. This event will allow for the sharing of expertise, as well as ensuring that there is standardisation of work done across agencies of the Department of Education and Skills.

In Ireland, the introduction of the new Junior Cycle Student Award presents an excellent opportunity to rewrite foreign language courses with assessment linked to the CEFR. It is also timely in the context of plans by the Department to publish a strategy on Foreign Languages in Education later in the year.

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  Armenia 25-27 March 2015
Venue: Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences, Yerevan
Experts: Gilles Breton, France; José Noijons, the Netherlands
Local Coordinator:  Lusine Fljyan, Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences
Participants: Item writers, university lecturers, university representatives from Yerevan,  regional university representatives, school representatives
Workshop summary

ECML and Yerevan State Linguistic University of Languages and Social Sciences held a joint international workshop on March 25-27 devoted to “Constructing valid tests and examinations based on the CEFR”. ECML experts Jose Noijons and Gilles Breton were invited to Armenia to conduct the three-day workshop. The workshop consisted of plenary sessions during which lectures were delivered to the wider audience and group works for a specific target audience of 28 people. In the three-day workshop teacher-trainers, language testers and examiners, item writers, curriculum developers, university lecturers and student teachers were introduced to the principals of valid and reliable language testing in relation to the CEFR model of language use. Special attention was paid to the identification and production of valid item types to be used in everyday classroom practice.

The outcomes of the workshop were as follows:
• the participants learnt the principles and techniques of valid test construction according to the levels of CEFR
• the participants learnt to analyze the test data and test-analysis according to CEFR
• the participants learnt to ink tests and examinations to CEFR.

 

The knowledge and skills acquired by the participants throughout the workshop will be used for developing the country policy in language education and language assessment. The outcomes of the workshop will be monitored by the YSULS and RA Ministry of Education and Science.

 

Երևանի պետական լեզվահասարակագիտական համալսարանը Եվրոպայի խորհրդի Ժամանակակից լեզուների եվրոպական կենտրոնի հետ համատեղ կազմակերպում է միջազգային սեմինար «Լեզվական թեստերի և քննությունների համապատասխանեցումը Լեզուների իմացության համաեվրոպական համակարգի մակարդակներին» թեմայով: Սեմինարը վարելու են միջազգային փորձագետներ Խոսե Նոյջոնսը և Գիլեզ Բրետոնը: Սեմինարի նպատակներն են՝

 
• ծանոթացնել մասնակիցներին արժանահավատ լեզվական թեստեր կազմելու գործընթացի սկզբունքներին,
• սովորեցնել կազմել օտար լեզուների, ինչպես նաև հայերենը՝ որպես օտար լեզվի արժանահավատ թեստեր դպրոցների և համալսարանների համար,
• սովորեցնել վերլուծել թեստերի տվյալներն ու արդյունքները,
• մշակել ԼԻՀՀ-ի մակարդակներին համապատասխան թեստերի կազմման լեզվաքաղաքականություն:

Սեմինարների թեմաներն են՝
• Օր 1, մարտի 25, 2015թ. «Ծանոթացում թեստերի վավերականության և արժանահավատության գաղափարին. լեզվի կիրառման ԼԻՀՀ-ի մոդելը»,
• Օր 2, մարտի 26, 2015թ. «Ծանոթացում թեստային առաջադրանքների կազմման գործընթացին. քերականական, բառապաշարային և լեզվի կիրառման առաջադրանքներ»,
• Օր 3, մարտի 27, 2015թ. «Մակարդակների սահմանում և ստանդարտացում. B1, B2 մակարդակների թեստերի օրինակներ:

 

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   "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" 4-6 March 2015
Venue: Hotel Solun, Skopje
Experts: Jana Berešová, Slovak Republic; Gilles Breton, France
Local Coordinator: Trajanka Avramoska, National Examinations Centre

Participants: Item writers and language markers
Workshop summary

  Belgium 28 – 30 January 2015 
Venue: VAC, Leuven
Experts: Jana Berešová, Slovak Republic; Gilles Breton, France
Local Coordinator: Bart Lamote Vlaams Ministerie van Onderwijs en Vorming
Participants: Language testers and examiners, item writers, curriculum developers, policy makers
Workshop summary

Du 28.01.2015 au 30.01.2015, la Commission d’Examens de la Communauté flamande, dispositif de lutte contre l’abandon scolaire précoce, a organisé la formation « Relier les examens de langue aux niveaux européens communs de compétence en langue ».
Cette formation s’articulait autour de trois grands axes d’intervention :
1. Fournir aux participants des critères d’assurance qualité dans les procédures d’élaboration des épreuves de production orale et écrite.
2. Renforcer la familiarisation des acteurs concernés avec les descripteurs du CECRL pour l’évaluation de ces épreuves.
3. Informer les participants des standards de qualité ALTE.
Trois types d’acteurs ont participé à la formation
1. Les examinateurs, correcteurs et rédacteurs d’items de la Commission d’Examens, tous professeurs de langue chargés de mission (français, anglais, allemand), et des professeurs de langue venant d’autres établissements scolaires (enseignement pour adultes / enseignement de la deuxième chance), partenaires stratégiques de la Commission d’Examens.
2. Des décideurs politiques chargés de définir les socles de compétences pour les langues modernes
3. De conseillers pédagogiques de l’enseignement pour adultes chargés de la rédaction des programmes d’études et de la formation des professeurs.
Les consultants du CELV, Jana Beresova et Gills Breton, ont d’abord rappelé le cadre d’assurance qualité général tel qu’il a été défini par le Conseil de l’Europe en insistant sur quelques passages-clés du Manuel pour l’élaboration et la passation de tests et d’examens de langue. Cette première étape nous aidé à mieux cerner les enjeux que posent les notions clés de validité, de fiabilité, d’éthique et d’équité.
Dans un deuxième temps, nous avons travaillé sur les descripteurs du CECRL, nous avons analysé et évalué des échantillons d’examens existants et nous avons fait un exercice d’analyse comparative (benchmarking) à partir d’échantillons représentatifs pour les niveaux du CECRL. Ces exercices successifs nous ont permis de mieux situer nos examens et nos socles de compétences ou encore les objectifs de nos programmes d’études, par rapport aux descripteurs du CECRL.
Ces (in)formations et l’introduction aux standards de qualité ALTE nous permettront sans aucun doute de mieux assurer la qualité de nos examens. En plus, elles ont également ouvert des perspectives d’amélioration concrètes et des pistes de collaboration avec nos partenaires stratégiques.

 

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   Lithuania 28 – 30 January 2015  
Venue: National Examination Centre, Vilnius
Experts: Gábor Szabó, Hungary; José Noijons, The Netherlands
Local Coordinator: Rita Juknevičienė, Vilnius University
Participants:   Item writers, reviewers, markers; Lithuanian Ministry representative, National Examination Center representatives
Workshop summary
ECML workshop “Relating language examinations to the common European reference levels of language proficiency” held in Vilnius University on 28-30 January 2015 was an important event amidst the never-ending debate in the country on the quality of the matura examination of English. The ECML experts José Noijons and Gabor Szabo convincingly demonstrated how claims about validity or reliability of a language test can be objectively verified and supported or rejected. At the time when everybody seems to know what a typical B2 learner can do, comparing local interpretations with those from the outside is a very sobering and eye-opening experience. The lecturers provided a number of arguments to demonstrate why a one-level test is a more valid measure of language proficiency than a two-level test, which is currently administered in Lithuania. Part of the discussions dealt with the new examination structure to be launched in 2016, so advice of the ECML experts on the development of items for the speaking test and rating scales were particularly important. The event gave plenty opportunities to the professionals engaged in the administration of the English examination to revisit certain procedures of test development, statistical analysis and validation, all of which will undoubtedly contribute to further improvement of the examination system in Lithuania.

Europos šiuolaikinių kalbų centro (EŠKC) seminaras „Kalbos egzaminų siejimas su Europos Tarybos kalbos mokėjimo lygiais“, kuris 2015 m. sausio 28-30 d. vyko Vilniaus universitete, svariai papildė viešumoje vis kylančias diskusijas apie anglų kalbos valstybinio brandos egzamino kokybę. EŠKC ekspertai José Noijons ir Gabor Szabo įtikinamai pademonstravo, kaip egzamino validumo ar patikimumo vertinimai turėtų būti pagrindžiami objektyviais testo duomenimis. Renginio dalyviams taip pat buvo pravartu dar sykį pasiaiškinti, ar iš tiesų vienodai suprantame, ką geba B2 lygį pasiekęs kalbos vartotojas, ir ar mūsų lietuviška samprata atitinka tarptautinę patirtį. Analizuodami 2014 m. anglų kalbos egzamino užduotį lektoriai pateikė įvairių priežasčių, dėl kurių vieno lygio kalbos testas būtų tinkamesnis ir patikimesnis negu dviejų lygių testas, kuris šiuo metu yra vykdomas Lietuvoje. Dalis renginio diskusijų buvo skirtos nuo 2016 m. keičiamam užsienio kalbos egzaminų modeliui, tad ekspertų atsiliepimai apie kalbėjimo testo užduočių formatą ir vertinimo kriterijus buvo itin laukiami. Seminaras suteikė puikią galimybę tiek egzamino adminstratoriams, tiek mokytojams ir vertintojams peržiūrėti tam tikrus egzamino rengimo etapus, aptarti statistinės analizės bei validumo tyrimo veiklas. Tikėtina, jog renginyje užsimezgusi profesionalų diskusija prisidės prie tolesnės egzaminų sistemos raidos Lietuvoje.
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  Latvia 29 – 31 October 2014
Venue: Riga
Experts: José Noijons, the Netherlands; Gábor Szabó, Hungary
Local Coordinator: Vita Kalnbērziņa, Latvia University
Participants:  Item writers, representatives of the curriculum and examination department
Workshop summary

A three-day workshop was organised by the National Centre of Education of Latvia; it focused on the evaluation of the existing foreign language examinations in Latvia. The primary goal of the event was to analyse whether the existing primary school graduation examination reflects the required CEFR level (B1) and to create awareness of how the CEFR model of language use can be used as the basis of a valid and reliable language test. The focus group included item writers and representatives of the examination and curriculum departments.
The workshops gave a valuable insight into the major issues of test development and provided a wider perspective on language testing. Gábor Szabó & José Noijons, ECML consultants conducting the workshops, ensured the balance between the theoretical information and practical tasks, focusing on the questions relevant for the participants and providing constructive feedback. The analysis of the existing examination tasks, rating scales and speaking samples proved to be of utmost importance for the test developers, as they provided a better understanding of common reference levels and instance of language use.
The positive impact of workshops on the participants cannot be overvalued. The event definitely helped the item writers and the representatives of the National Centre of Education to formulate the further steps to be taken to ensure that the examinations follow and reflect the CEFR view on the role of language.

Valsts izglītības satura un eksaminācijas centrs organizēja trīs dienu semināru, lai izvērtētu Latvijā administrētos svešvalodu eksāmenus. Semināra pamatmērķis bija noteikt, vai pamatskolas nobeiguma eksāmeni svešvalodās atspoguļo Eiropas kopējo pamatnostādņu (EKP) B1 līmeni un kā izmantot EKP modeli drošu un pamatotu valodas eksāmenu veidošanā. Darba grupā ietilpa eksāmenu veidoāji un Valsts izglītības satura un eksaminācijas centra pārstāvji. Seminārs sniedza vērtīgu ieskatu testu veidošanas pamatjautājumos, piedāvājot plašāku perspektīvu valodas testēšanas jautājumos. Eiropas modern valodu centra eksperti, Gábor Szabó & José Noijons, kas vadīja semināru, nodrošināja līdzsvaru starp apskatāmajiem teorētiskajiem jautājumiem un praktiski veicamajiem uzdevumiem, nodrošinot konstruktīvus ieteikumus par paveikto. Eksāmenu uzdevumu, vērtēšanas skalu un runāšanas snieguma analīze uzdevumu veidotājiem bija ārkārtīgi svarīga, jo palīdzēja izprast valodas lietojuma kopējo līmeņu būtību. Semināra pozitīvā ietekme uz dalībniekiem ir nenovērtējama. Pasākums palīdzēja gan eksāmena veidotājiem, gan VISC pārstāvjiem noformulēt nākamos uzdevumus, kas jāveic, lai nodrošinātu eksāmenu atbilstību EKP uzskatiem par to, kas ir valoda un kā tā jāpārbauda. close

Previous training workshops 2013-2014

Hungary 28-30 April 2014
Experts:   Jana Bérešová, Slovak Republic; José Noijons, the Netherlands
Local organiser:   Enikö Öveges
Participants:   Heads of FL departments at schools, supervisors;  Heads of departments in primary and secondary schools
Workshop schedule              
Workshop summary
 Croatia 14 - 16 April 2014
Venue: Zagreb   
Experts: Jana Bérešová, Slovak Republic; Gabor Szabo, Hungary
Local organiser:  Cvjetanka Božanic
Participants: Teachers, item-writers, reviewers, markers, raters, psychometricians
Workshop schedule
Workshop summary

RELANG – how to link tests to the CEFR, an ECML and European Commission initiative, has been offered to Croatian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport to be organized in Croatia. The Ministry accepted the offer and a 3-day workshop as been organized in Zagreb with the aim to train the language experts how to link language test and exams with the CEFR. The long term aims are to make sure that language tests and exams as well as their results are shown in the CEFR levels in order to become valid, transparent, understandable and acceptable in wider international community.
The CEFR has become a very important instrument in shaping language policies around Europe and has been accepted by a large number of relevant language institutions dealing with teaching and assessing languages, consequently it has become necessary to link the curricula and tests and exams with the CEFR.
This was the first 3-day workshop organized in Croatia with 21 language experts taking part. The participants came from wide language and field areas in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Croatian as FL. Item writers for State Maura exams, methodological revisers from Faculty for Foreign languages from Osijek, psychometricians and language experts from National Center for external evaluation of education, textbook authors, senior teachers and teacher trainers coming from all parts of Croatia were working hard under the guidance of excellent international experts Ms Jana Berešová and Mr Gabor Szabó.

The first part of the seminar was dedicated to the construction of valid items and tests based on CEFR levels. The second part was an intensive training of linking the existing items and tests to the CEFR levels. The items and tests used in the workshop were the published state exams from English language. The working language was English.

During the seminar and in their feedback reports the participants expressed their gratitude and satisfaction with the seminar and the materials being covered. It has become clear to all of us that this is just the beginning and that the follow up activities might lead to successfully learning how to link the exams with the CEFR levels enabling them the international validity.

RELANG - kako povezati ispite s CEFR-om, je inicijativa ECML a– Europskog centra za moderne jezike u Grazu pri Vijecu Europe I I Europske komisije. MZOŠ je prihvatio ponudu I u Zagrebu je organizirana trodnevna obuku I strucno usavršavanje za povezivanje jezicnih ispita s razinama iz CEFR-a.. Dugotrajni cilj je osigurati da se jezicni ispiti i njihovi rezultati prikazuju razinama CEFR-a I tako budu pouzdani, razumljivi I prihvaceni na široj medunarodnoj razini..

Zajednicki Europski jezicni okvir (CEFR) je postao važan instrument za oblikovanje jezicne politike diljem Europe I prihvacen je od velikog broja relevantnih ustanova koje se bave poucavanjem jezika I provodenjem jezicnih ispita. Stoga je postalo nužno povezati kurikulume I jezicne ispite s CEFR-om.

Ovo je bila prva radionica organizirana u Hrvatskoj.na kojoj je sudjelovao 21 strucnjak iz podrucja stranih jezika razlicitih profila iz cijele Hrvatske. Bili su tu strucnjaci za engleski, njemacki, talijansku, francuski, španjolski I hrvatski kao strani jezik. Autori zadataka I testova državne mature -clanovi strucnih radnih skupina, metodicki recenzenti s Filozofskog fakulteta iz Osijeka, psihometricari i strucni voditelji iz NCVVO-a,, autori udžbenika, viši savjetnici I voditelji županijskih strucnih vijeca radili su intenzivno tijekom tri dana pod vodstvom Europskih strucnjaka Gde Jane Berešove iz Slovacke I Gdina Gabora Szaba iz Madarske.Prvi dio seminara je bio posvecen konstrukciji validnih zadataka I testova baziranih na CEFR-u. dok je drugi dio bila obuka kako povezati postojece ispite s CEFR-om a radilo se na ispitima s državne mature. Radni jezik seminara je bio engleski.

Sudionici seminara su izrazili veliko zadovoljstvo, kako tijekom samog seminara tako I nakon završetka obuke. Svima nam je jasno da je ovo tek pocetak I da slijedi nastavak obuke kako bismo mogli svaki ispit DM povezati s CEFR-om tako omogucili medunarodno priznanje.

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 Czech Republic 26 - 28 March 2014
Venue:   Prague 
Experts: Jana Bérešová, Slovak Republic; Gilles Breton, France
Local organiser:  Kamila Sladkovská
Participants:  Test developers, item writers, teachers, teacher trainers of Czech as a foreign language
Workshop schedule
Workshop summary

In the three-day workshop the participants were introduced to the principles of valid and reliable language testing in relation to the CEFR model of language use. We invited our crucial external cooperators, who act in the System as test developers, item writers, markers and raters, teachers, teacher trainers of Czech as a foreign language, to take part in the seminar. Participants were trained in the development of valid language tests related to the CEFR for the use in testing the migrants in the Czech Republic The structure of the seminar was carefully prepared with respect to all our needs and requirements with the special focus on evaluation of productive skills, quality management assessment, item construction, effective system of training examiners.
The whole seminar was a great opportunity for all participants to make a feedback of all existing activities in the System. Participants could change their ideas on several expert topics and get to know some issues in the field of language testing much better and last but not least could gain deeper knowledge of language testing at all. As a result of the seminar some bigger changes are planned to be done in the System.
You can find some other useful information here:
http://relang.ecml.at/en-us/Home
V rámci trídenního semináre byli úcastníci seznámeni s principy validního a spolehlivého jazykového testování ve vztahu k úrovním SERR. Na seminár byli pozváni klícoví externí spolupracovníci, kterí v Systému pusobí jako tvurci testu a testových položek, jako hodnotitelé a tazatelé, ucitelé a jako lektori v dalším vzdelávání ucitelu pro ceštinu jako cizí jazyky. Úcastníci byli školeni k vývoji validních jazykových testu ve vztahu k SERR, a to se zacíleným využitím pro testování migrantu v Ceské republice. Struktura semináre byla peclive pripravena s ohledem na všechny potreby a požadavky se zvláštním durazem na oblast hodnocení produktivních dovedností, kvalitní systém hodnocení, tvorba položek testu a efektivní systém školení examinátoru.
Seminár byl skvelou príležitostí pro všechny úcastníky, aby se ohlédli za všemi probehlými aktivitami v rámci Systému. Úcastníci si mohli vymenovat názory v rámci rady odborných témat a mohli se lépe seznámit s nekterými záležitostmi v oblasti jazykového testování a v neposlední rade mohli získat hlubší vhled do oblasti jazykového testování vubec. Jedním z výsledku semináre jsou naplánované vetší zmeny, které se budou realizovat v Systému.
Další užitecné informace je možné nalézt zde:
http://relang.ecml.at/en-us/Home
http://cestina-pro-cizince.cz/index.php?p=seminar&hl=cs_CZ close

 Montenegro 5 – 7 March 2014
Venue:   Podgorica
Experts:   José Noijons, the Netherlands; Jana Bérešová, Slovak Republic
Local organiser:   Nataša Peric
Participants:   Teacher trainers, supervisors, university teachers
Workshop schedule  
Workshop summary

In May 2013, the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, signed a cooperation agreement to establish a joint action on “Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning”. One of the initiatives is to assist educational authorities in relating language examinations to the levels of proficiency defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to be carried out by the ECML RELANG team.

In this context the Montenegrin Bureau for Education Services requested support for developing tests linked to the CEFR for use in the classroom. From 5 to 7 March 2014 two team members of the RELANG project have given a workshop during which general language-testing issues such as validity, reliability, fairness, equity and other ethical considerations have been related to the construction of classroom-based tests. Participants were trained in the construction of items reflecting the CEFR Language Model. Benchmarks of writing and speaking proficiency at A2 and B1 were developed and methods to set standards for receptive skills were discussed. Participants in the workshop were representatives from the Bureau for Education Services and the Examination Centre, and teachers of English, French, German, Italian and Russian. Two teachers of first/second languages attended.
The consultants were impressed by participants’ knowledge of and experience in language testing, and by their motivation to improve classroom testing. Participants took a very active part in the discussions and did not hesitate to ask challenging questions.
The consultants are convinced that the aims of the workshop have been reached and they would like to compliment participants and the Bureau for Educational Services for their very professional approach to language testing, resulting in the promotion of high quality language items and tests.

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 Romania 5-7 December 2013
Venue: Bucharest, Romania
Experts: José Noijons, the Netherlands; Gilles Breton, France
Local organiser: Dan Ion Nasta
Participants: Language testers and examiners, item writers, curriculum developers, school inspectors, policy makers and other stakeholders
Workshop schedule
Workshop summary
L’atelier intitulé « Relier les examens de langue aux niveaux de performance linguistique du Cadre européen de référence  a été organisé à la demande de l’Institut des Sciences de l’Education (ISE)  en concertation étroite avec le Centre National des Evaluations et des Examens (CNEE), avec l’accord du Ministère  roumain de l’Education nationale (MEN).
Les institutions contactées ont été d’accord pour faire bénéficier leurs experts d’une formation intensive s’articulant autour de deux axes d’intervention :
  1. Renforcer les compétences  des acteurs concernés dans l’utilisation des descripteurs du CECR en vue de  relier l’examen de langue, fin du second cycle du secondaire, aux catégories pertinentes du Cadre Européen Commun de Référence pour les Langues produit par le Conseil de l’Europe.
  2. Fournir  aux participants roumains des critères d’assurance de la qualité dans  les procédures d’élaboration des tâches, l’agencement  de celles-ci dans les tests et leur validation, sachant que certains d’entre eux le font déjà à la demande du Centre National des Evaluations et des Examens.
Trois types d’institutions ont été approchés en amont de l’atelier par le consultant local:
  1. Les institutions centrales (le Ministère de l’Education Nationale, le Centre National des Evaluations et des Examens, L’Institut des Sciences de l’Education).
  2. Les services spécialisés des inspections académiques (cinq départements ont répondu à ma requête initiale et se sont montrés intéressés par le projet : Bucarest, Dolj, Hunedoara, Iasi et Teleorman).
  3. Les dispositifs de formation initiale des futurs enseignants et évaluateurs en LVE (si le département d’études italiennes de l’Université de Bucarest n’a pu concrétiser son souhait de participer à la formation, l’Université de Suceava, en revanche, a  donné suite à l’appel en dépêchant à Bucarest deux maitres de conférences.
 La succession des thèmes abordés a été attentivement  étudiée. Après le rappel des notions clés (validité, fiabilité des tests de langue, l’éthique et l’équité dans les procédures), on a abordé les étapes de l’élaboration des tests (familiarisation à partir des grilles de descripteurs, spécifications, pour la première journée de travail ; assemblage des tests, calibrage et recommandations pour le choix des supports et la rédaction des tâches, deuxième journée). L’essentiel de la deuxième et de la troisième journée de travail a été consacré à l’analyse des tests proposés en Roumanie pour la passation du Certificat de compétences linguistiques (épreuve du bac général) : la compréhension orale, la production écrite, la compréhension écrite. Une attention particulière a  été portée à la correction et à la notation des tests respectifs, sans oublier la définition des points de césure et la standardisation, notamment en ce qui concerne la production écrite en langue vivante étrangère. close
 Slovenia 14-16 November  2013
Venue:   National Examinations Centre, Kajuhova ul. 32U, 1000 Ljubljana, 
Experts:  José Noijons, the Netherlands; Gabor Szabo, Hungary
Local organiser:  Suzana Bitenc Peharc
Participants:  Assessors in linking process for exams in French, German, Italian, Spanish 
Workshop schedule
Workshop summary

A three-day workshop on relating language examinations to the CEFR was organised by the National Examinations Centre of Slovenia and the ECML from 14 to 16 November 2013 in Ljubljana. The participants were members of the project teams for relating German, French, Italian and Spanish foreign language examinations to the CEFR. The workshop was carried out by two consultants of the RELANG team, Jose Noijons and Gabor Szabo. The primary aim of the workshop was to familiarize members of the project teams with the process of linking foreign language examinations to the CEFR and to enable them for carrying out the phases of the linking process. The experts gave the participants also some general information on how to prepare valid and reliable tests and how to improve the existing examinations. They also raised some important issues and invited the participant to take active part in the discussions. The workshop was very well prepared and it fulfilled our needs and expectations.
V casu od 14. do 16. novembra 2013 je v Ljubljani v organizaciji Državnega izpitnega centra in Evropskega centra za moderne jezike (ECMJ) iz Graza potekal seminar za usposabljanje clanov projektnih skupin za umestitev izpitov iz tujih jezikov v SEJO. Seminar sta vodila priznana strokovnjaka s podrocja jezikovnega testiranja José Noijons in Gabor Szabo, ki sta clana RELANG ekipe strokovnjakov, ki deluje v okviru ECMJ. Cilj izobraževanja je bil seznaniti slovenske strokovnjake s postopki izvedbe umestitve izpitov iz tujih jezikov v SEJO in jih usposobiti za nadaljne delo. Obenem sta predavatelja poudarila pomen priprave kvalitetnih, veljavnih in zanesljivih izpitov, ki so prvi pogoj za izvedbo umešcanja. Udeleženci seminarja so aktivno sodelovali v delavnicah in razpravljali o pomemnih temah, ki se navezujejo na pripravo izpitnih nalog in izvedbo umešcanja izpitov v SEJO. Seminar je bil odlicno organiziran in zelo pomemben za izvedbo projekta Državnega izpitnega centra o umešcanju izpitov iz nemšcine, italijanšcine, francošcine in španšcine v SEJO.
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 Iceland 13-15 August  2013
Venue:  Endurmenntun Háskóla Íslands, Reykjavík
Experts:  Jana Beresova, Slovak Republic; Gilles Breton, France
Local organiser:  Eyjólfur Már Sigurðsson
Participants:  Foreign language teachers, items writers, examiners, policy-makers
Workshop schedule
Workshop summary
The new national curriculum stresses the importance of continuity in teaching and assessing foreign languages on all levels. This event was set up to facilitate this task by training language teachers to calibrate their assessment to the CEFR. This training is a multi step process: • A 3 days seminar taking place in Reykjavik in August 2013 where 2 ECML experts did provide the teachers with tools enabling them to develop valid tests. The facilitators did systematically alternate presentations and practical group work using the material which is being used by the participants (English, French, German and Spanish exams). • The training event will be followed by workshops organized by member associations of STÍL. The aim of these workshops is to make a model exam in the different languages and on different levels (A2 exams in French, Spanish and German, B1 in Danish and B2 in English). • The model exams will be sent to ECML experts for validation before end 2013. • The validated model exams will be ready to use early 2014. This is thus a very practical training focusing on the needs in the member state. For further information please refer to: http://www.stil.dreifmennt.com/

 

Í nýrri námskrá er lögð áhersla á að samfella sé í kennslu og námsmati á öllum tungumálum og skólastigum. Á þessu námskeiði verður unnið með leiðir og aðferðir við að aðlaga námsmat í tungumálum Evrópurammanum (CEFR) undir stjórn sérfræðinga Evrópska nýmálasetursins í Graz (ECML). Námskeiðið verður ferli í nokkrum þrepum: • 3ja daga námskeið í ágúst 2013 undir stjórn sérfræðinga Nýmálasetursins í Graz (ECML). • Þátttakendur á námskeiðinu munu síðan stýra vinnustofum hver í sínu félagi þar sem unnið verður með efnið. Í þeim vinnustofum verða útbúnar frumgerðir (prototypes) af prófum/námsmatsleiðum til að staðsetja hæfni nemenda miðað við Evrópurammann (A1 – B2) og hæfniviðmið námskrár í erlendum tungumálum. • Þessi próf/námsmatsleiðir verða síðan sendar til vottunar (validation) hjá sérfræðingum Evrópska nýmálasetursins í Graz í lok árs 2013. • Vottuð próf, sem skólar geta notað sem fyrirmyndir verða tilbúin vorið 2014. Allar nánari upplýsingar um þetta námskeið má finna á: http://www.stil.dreifmennt.com/

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 Cyprus 26-28 June  2013
Venue:  Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Nicosia
Experts:  José Noijons, the Netherlands; Gilles Breton, France
Local organiser:  Stella Konti-Theocharous
Participants:  Language testers, examiners, item writers, inspectors
Workshop schedule
Workshop summary
The training offered by the ECML and the EC can be considered as an excellent opportunity for both experienced and less experienced educators, at all levels of education, and local authorities to be well informed and in detail about new developments and trends in education all over Europe and the world in general and how these can be applied within their own educational context, since even if there are certain standards that all countries must abide by, each country has its own special and unique requirements and these must be respected and incorporated into specific guidelines. Several issues can be discussed, knowledge, experiences and expertise can be shared and exchanged. Answers to lots of questions can be given and a lot of problems can be solved. Additionally participants can get information about several publications, such as the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages” and the ALTE Manual or some websites of the ECML and the EC where they can get loads of information useful for them and their institutions as well. In this way they are informed of what happens around the world and decide how they can adapt their way of thinking and become more flexible. Even without travelling abroad they can get to know what their colleagues in other countries do and how they think and work.
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 Lithuania 19-21 June  2013
Venue:  Public Service Language Centre, Vilnius
Experts:  José Noijons, the Netherlands; Gabor Szabo, Hungary
Local organiser:  Irena Raudiene
Participants:  Language teachers (of different foreign languages), language testers, policy makers, item writers, university staff
Workshop schedule
Workshop summary
On 19-21 June, a workshop “Constructing and validating language tests linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages“took place in Vilnius. During the seminar theoretical and practical aspects of test construction, quality requirements, reliability of test results and possibility to relate existing language tests and examinations with the Common European Framework of Reference were discussed. The workshop was organized within the framework of cooperation agreement “Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning” between the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML) and the European Commission and in the context of ECML project: Relating language examinations to the common European reference levels of language proficiency: promoting quality assurance in education and facilitating mobility (RELANG). It was organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania and the Public Service Language Centre. The workshop was held by the ECML consultants: José Noijons ir Gábor Szabó. The participants of the workshop – language teaching experts, test developers, exam assessors, teachers, university researchers, representatives of the National examination centre and Education development centre – had an opportunity to evaluate the quality of existing language tests and exams, analyzed statistical data and determined the level of 2013 Foreign language examination performed at the end of lower secondary education against the CEFR. The ECML experts provided some valuable insights and suggestions on how to improve test construction, administering and assessment procedures and how to ensure the quality of the task. Currently the Ministry of Education and Science is considering the concept of Foreign language examinations at the end of lower secondary education and reforming Foreign language maturity examinations by including speaking part into the exam and changing test development procedures. Due to this context the workshop was extremely useful and the ECML expertise would contribute to the improvement of language examination system in Lithuania.

 

Šiu metu birželio 19-21d. Vilniuje vyko seminaras “Užsienio kalbu pasiekimu patikrinimo užduociu rengimas ir siejimas su Bendraisiais Europos kalbu metmenimis“, kurio metu buvo aptariami teoriniai ir praktiniai reikalavimai užsienio kalbu testams rengti, aiškinamasi, kaip užtikrinti testu kokybe ir rezultatu patikimuma, buvo svarstoma galimybe Lietuvoje rengiamus kalbu testus ir egzaminus sieti su Europiniais kalbu pasiekimu lygiais (A1-C2). Seminara vede Europos Tarybos Dabartiniu Europos kalbu centro (DEKC) deleguoti ekspertai – José Noijons (Nyderlandai) ir Gábor Szabó (Vengrija). Seminaras organizuotas igyvendinanat Dabartiniu Europos kalbu centro ir Europos Komisijos bendradarbiavimo programa “Inovatyvus kalbu mokymo ir vertinimo metodai“ ir tesiant DEKC projekta „ Kalbu egzaminu siejimas su Bendraisias Europos kalbu metmenimis: siekiant užtikrinti kiekybe švietime ir skatinant mobiluma“ (RELANG); semianra organizavo Lietuvos Respublikos Švietimo ir mokslo ministerija ir Valstybes instituciju kalbu centras. Seminaro dalyviai – kalbu specialistai, testu rengejai, egzaminu vertintojai, mokytojai, universitetu destytojai, Nacionalinio egzaminu centro ir Ugdymo pletotes centro atstovai – turejo galimybe ivertinti Lietuvoje rengiamu kalbu testu ir egzaminu užduociu kokybe, analizuojant statistinius duomenis pabandyti nustatyti 2013 m. Užsienio kalbu lygio nustatymo testo (vykdomo baigiant Pagrindinio ugdymo programa) lygi pagal Bendruju Europos kalbu metmenu kalbu pasiekimu lygius. Užsienio ekpertai pateike naudingu ižvalgu ir pasiulymu, kaip tobulinti testu ir egzaminu rengimo, vykdymo ir vertinimo proceduras ir užtikrinti užduociu kokybe. Šiuo metu Švietimo ir mokslo ministerija svarsto Užsienio kalbu pagrindinio ugdymo pasiekimu patikrinimo koncepcija, siekiama pertverkyti užsienio kalbu brandos egzaminus, itraukiant kalbejimo dali ir keiciant egzaminu užduociu rengimo proceduras, todel minetas seminaras ir Centro konsultantu ižvalgos pasitarnaus Lietuvos kalbu testu ir egzaminu sistemos tobulinimui.

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This initiative is carried out within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the European Commission, entitled INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES AND ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING   www.ecml.at/ec-cooperation