NDEA Focuses on Innovative Methodologies in English Language Tutelage and Evaluation


The New Directions in Language Assessment events represent the British Council’s premier language testing conferences, drawing in hundreds of participants annually from across the globe.

This conference series has evolved into the world’s largest gathering dedicated to language testing and assessment. Over the past decade, New Directions East Asia (NDEA) has expanded its reach, successfully hosting a biennial Latin American conference. Plans are underway to introduce conferences in South Asia, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years.

In addition to these flagship conferences, the British Council organizes shorter New Directions Series events worldwide, featuring expert speakers from the British Council and its partners. While the main conferences in East Asia and Latin America address regional and global issues, these smaller events are more tailored to specific countries, offering focused discussions. For instance, a Series event held in Rome in 2023 centered on assessing young leaders in the Italian education system.

The latest instalment of NDEA returned to Vietnam in October 2023, attracting a diverse array of participants, including teachers, academics, government officials, and policymakers. The British Council received over 200 abstract submissions and witnessed more than 400 conference registrations from 30 countries, featuring 76 presenters across 49 sessions. This surge in participation has elevated the quality of research in the New Directions regions, ensuring that policymakers and influencers alike benefit significantly from active engagement. Furthermore, the conference provides teachers with a unique opportunity to interact with local and international experts in teaching, learning, and assessment (TLA), as well as access to ministers and key administrators to learn about current or upcoming education reform plans.

One of the most notable aspects of the New Directions events is their ability to convene high-level stakeholders to address assessment and education reform challenges and share solutions. Donna McGowan, Director of the British Council in Vietnam, and Prof. Barry O’Sullivan, Senior Adviser of English Language Assessment of the British Council, have observed participants discovering common issues shared across their regions, fostering open discussions and opportunities to cultivate relationships with UK institutions, as well as the British Council and other stakeholders.

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