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Higher Education Commission, United States Embassy Workshop on English Language Assessment concludes

Islamabad, July 10, 2012 (PPI-OT): One week International Resource Person (IRP) workshop on Assessment in English Languages Teaching concludes here at Higher Education Commission HEC Islamabad. The workshop was organized by English Language Teaching reforms (ELTR) Phase-II of Higher Education Commission in collaboration with US Embassy Islamabad. Annie Polatsek and Strand Susan facilitated the training as international resource persons. Eighteen faculty members of different Colleges/Universities across Pakistan attended this course.

Prof. Dr. Khawaja Azam Ali Managing Director Quality Assurance Agency HEC was Chief Guest at the closing ceremony. . Mr. Thomas Miller, Mission Director Communication US Embassy was also present at the ceremony as the Guest of Honor.

The main objectives of the workshop were to delineate the aspects of assessment/testing, to discuss elements of evaluation, testing and alternative assessment and evaluate ways to assess a variety of language activities and skills. The workshop was a fusion of innovative activities and theory to provide an all-out exposure of assessment and evaluation techniques to English fraternity.

This workshop on “Assessment in ELT” aimed at creating awareness of the concepts, principles and concerns of language testing and evaluation among the fraternity of English faculty of Universities and colleges. Annie Polatsek and Strand Susan explained in detail the basic concepts and theories underlying testing, evaluation and alternative assessment.

Both the resource persons came forward with unique and striking ideas to enable the participants to construct tests for the assessment of linguistic competence (grammar and vocabulary) and language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and to use alternative forms of assessment in their classroom, in addition to traditional achievement tests.

They gave an exhaustive account of all the different aspects of the topic under discussion and urged the participants to incorporate these aspects into their teaching methodology. Annie and Susan advised teachers to refrain from subjective evaluation and testing and resort to standard techniques. Different formats of testing and their relevance in different contexts were brought into light.

Mr. Thomas Miller, Mission Director Communication, US Embassy, appreciated the role of HEC in promoting education. He mentioned assessment was the main driver of learning process. Mr. Miller showed his satisfaction on the fact that the course participants were representing all parts of the country, especially teachers from colleges and universities of far off areas were given preference in this course. He thanked HEC on an excellent collaboration and assured that such partnership with HEC would continue in future.

Speaking on the occasion Prof. Dr. Khawaja Azam Ali said that assessment was the most important area, especially in a semester system. The main difference in the annual and semester system is assessment procedure which discourages rote learning and cramming. Innovative methodologies and practices in assessment can change the learning trends. In the end the certificates were distributed among the participants.

For more information, contact:
Aayesha Ikram
Director (Media)
Higher Education Commission
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: 90402404, 90402412
Email: aikram@hec.gov.pk
Website: www.hec.gov.pk

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