New Directions Brazil 2023 Conference Themes

Reshaping education: Aligning assessment with curriculum and delivery

The main conference theme is about unifying teaching, learning and assessment (TLA) into one comprehensive learning system which will support the future ambitions of individuals, organisations and countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed ways of learning and working but it has also been a catalyst for providing a glimpse of possible future educational realities that have brought into question current education models, systems and content. It seems an opportune time to review and align our systems, methodology and practice to reflect local and regional contexts and relevant TLA needs.

The conference this year seeks to explore some of the following questions:

Do current policies, processes and practices work together to effectively meet the needs of stakeholders at the different levels of the education system: macro (national), meso (institutional) and micro (classroom)?

How is this measured?

Are all the relevant stakeholders appropriately included in decisions related to them, and supported with the relevant information, development and tools to effectively manage implementation and achieve their goals?

By thinking about a comprehensive learning system, we can begin to consider how the individual parts of the system should and can work together. 

The conference will have two sub-themes:

Strand 1: Language assessment literacy: Collaborating with educators

Language assessment literacy forms the knowledge base needed both to understand essential language assessment concepts as they apply to an individual (e.g. as a test-taker, a parent or a teacher) and to conduct language assessment procedures, that is, to design, administer, interpret, utilize, and report language assessment data for different purposes. As increasing importance is being placed on assessment as an integral part of teaching and learning, language assessment literacy become a key factor for all stakeholders involved. As we move back to in-person teaching and learning, is this an opportune time to consider collaborations (e.g. between teachers and students, academics and educators) to support he development of language assessment literacy for all. Papers in this strand explore language assessment literacy for teachers and also for other stakeholders involved in language testing and assessment.

Strand 2: Technology and assessment: The state of play and looking forward

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for all things technological across most domains of society. In the last 2-3 years, entire education systems attempted to reconfigure themselves for online implementation. Policy makers, academics, educators, parents and learners all navigated issues around infrastructure, online platforms, access, online materials and pedagogy, with varying degrees of success. Now that in-person engagement and interaction has resumed in the educational realm, for the most part, has the role of technology changed? Does it continue to have an active role in educational scenarios? And what about future educational landscapes? Will technology have a permanent place in education systems? The answers to these questions have implications for all stakeholders interested and involved in English language teaching and learning.