Since 2013, New Directions in English Language Testing annual conference has connected with key cities in East Asia and seeing the impact of this forum in this region.

The conference consists of plenaries, collaborative workshops as well as open meeting spaces that focus on the year’s chosen themes, and also provides an opportunity for networking, and so has become an important conference in English Language assessment and testing calendar.  

Here are some of our conference highlights from over the last few years: 

New Directions 2016: Hanoi, Vietnam

4th British Council New Directions in English Language Assessment: Standardised testing and the development and use of proficiency scales

13-14th October 2016, Hanoi, Vietnam 

Conference Theme: Standardised testing and the development and use of proficiency scales: addressing local challenges, meeting global standards

The 4th  New Directions 2016 in Vietnam looked at:

  • Standardised Testing;
  • Proficiency Testing;
  • Performance-Based Testing.

Key Speakers

  • Professor Paul Seedhouse
    Newcastle University, UK
  • Dr Phu Ti PhuongAnh
    Education Quality, Training and Support Centre, Vietnam
  • Dr Veronica Benigno
    Pearson, UK
  • Dr Gad Lim
    Cambridge English Language Assessment, UK
  • Dr Jessica Wu
    The Language Training and Testing Centre, Taiwan
  • Dr Jamie Dunlea
    British Council, UK
  • Ms Wu Sha
    National Education Examinations Authority, China

Please download the presentation slides here to learn more about the conference.

New Directions 2015: Seoul, Korea

3rd British Council New Directions in English Language Assessment

15-16th October 2015, JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square, Seoul, Korea

Conference Theme: Quality and Consequence

The 3rd New Directions 2015 in Korea looked at:

  • test quality;
  • consequences of testing from the point of view of society and education policy;
  • impact of testing on pedagogy and curriculum design;
  • examining the challenges in the testing and assessment sector and solutions to be found if countries such as Korea are to address the concerns amongst the wider public about the integrity and quality of testing methodologies.

Key Speakers

  • Young-Soo Kim 
    President of Korea Institute for Curriculum & Evaluation (KICE), Korea
  • Professor  Constant Leung 
    King's College London, UK
  • Nick Saville 
    Director of Cambridge English Language Assessment, UK
  • Professor Antony John Kunnan 
    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Professor John H.A.L. De Jong 
    Pearson Netherlands
  • Elizabeth Shepherd 
    Senior Research Manager, British Council
  • Associate Professor Yong-Won Lee 
    Seoul National University, Korea
  • Professor Barry O'Sullivan 
    British Council
  • Professor Han Baocheng 
    Beijing Foreign Studies University, China
  • Professor Dongwan Cho 
    Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea
  • Professor Tineke Brunfaut 
    Lancaster University, UK

New Directions 2014: Tokyo, Japan

2nd New Directions in English Language Assessment

29-30th September 2014, Meiji Kinenkan, Tokyo, Japan

Conference theme: Role of English Assessment in Internationalisation

The second conference in Japan brought together chief educational officers and key officials from across Asia to review:

  • issues of localisation and globalisation in English Language Assessment;
  • issues of expanding capacity to address current and future education and assessment challenges.

It also provided a valuable networking opportunity and set the stage for further cooperation among key audience and attendees from Asian countries and beyond.

Key Speakers

  • Professor Masashi Negishi 
    Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
  • Professor Oryang Kwon
    Seoul National University
  • Dr. Jessica R.W. Wu 
    The Language Training & Testing Centre
  • Gerry Delaney
    Head of Assessment Services (East Asia), Cambridge English Language Assessment
  • Keita Nakamura
    Eiken Foundation of Japan
  • Kuniaki Sato 
    Deputy Director, Office for International Planning, Higher Education Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

New Directions 2013: Beijing, China

1st New Directions in English Language Assessment: Language Assessment in China

6th-7th  November 2013 at the National Museum of China, Beijing, China

The event in Beijing encompassed a number of anniversaries: 35 years since the British Council was established in China; 25 years of IELTS worldwide and 10 years of the British Council delivering IELTS in China in partnership with the National Education Examinations Authority. 

Conference Theme 

The first New Directions conference addressed issues associated with assessment for learning, including: 

  • washback and formative assessment; 
  • localisation and customisation; 
  • adapting tests to Chinese contexts and developing English teacher assessment literacy.

Key Speakers

  • Professor Jin Yan
    Shanghai Jiaotong University, Chair of National College English Testing Committee
  • Professor Barry O’Sullivan 
    Senior Advisor, English Language Assessment, British Council
  • Professor Han Baocheong 
    Beijing Foreign Studies University, Director of China Language Assessment Research Society
  • Andrew Mackenzie 
    Head of Assessment Service, British Council
  • Keita Nakamura / Shuken Shiozaki
    Eiken Foundation of Japan