In December 2016, China’s Ministry of Education and the British Council signed a memorandum of understanding to carry out linking research between UK exams and China’s Standards of English (CSE).
Both parties also agreed on holding a joint conference on English language assessment to accelerate international exchange and cooperation in English language learning, teaching and assessment.
“This conference is one of the fruits of the agreement reached at the Sino-UK high-level people-to-people dialogue in 2016,” said Barry O’Sullivan, head of British Council Assessment Research and Development. “It is an honour to provide academic support to the development of CSE, and to be a partner and practitioner to support English assessment reform initiatives in China. IELTS and Aptis will be the first two tests that have mutual recognition with both CEFR and CSE.”
At the New Directions Conference, British Council and NEEA announced the launch of The Joint Research Grant Scheme (JRGS), which aims to promote the research carried out by international language assessment research experts on the CSE applications and the relationship between CSE and international examinations.
The New Directions Conference has launched a lasting partnership between Asia Pacific countries and Britain in supporting foreign language proficiency testing in Asia Pacific.
It has accelerated international exchange and cooperation beyond the region in English language learning, teaching and assessment.
“As international exchanges and cooperation in the APAC region become increasingly frequent, British Council will continue to create opportunities for countries in APAC to communicate and learn from each other in the field of English teaching and assessment, carrying out cooperation in areas including English educational reform, teacher training and the internationalisation of education, connecting assessment with teaching and learning, and accelerating the development of English language assessment in the APAC region,” said Steve Adams, Director Examinations East Asia, British Council.