Conference results

1. conference day

Summary of the first conference day: Piet van Avermaet
Download Symbol Download Symbol Language assessment and immigration, from theory to practice  (PDF, 61 KB)

Download Symbol The Council of Europe´s contribution to the linguistic integration of adult migrants (PDF, 365 KB)
Philia Thalgott, Abteilung Sprachenpolitik des Europarats
The Council of Europe’s contribution to the linguistic integration of adult migrants
As the largest European intergovernmental organisation, the Council of Europe has a role to play by creating a platform of dialogue and exchange between its 47 member states which stand at various stages regarding immigration and needs of integration. The Language Policy Division organised produced a number of tools for policy deciders dealing with assessment, quality assurance, language tests, … which were introduced during its first intergovernmental seminar in 2008.

Download Symbol Reflections on testing for migration purposes (PDF, 460 KB)
Elana Shohamy, School of Education der Universität Tel Aviv
Reflections on testing for migration purposes
While testing proficiency of immigrants in the languages of the countries they immigrate to have become a widespread phenomenon around the world, there has also been strong opposition to this policy from experts in language learning, language policy and language testing. Among the arguments put forward are that these tests provide pretext for expelling unwanted immigrants, that immigrants do not have quality programs where they can learn the new languages, that language proficiency should not be a pre-requisite for proper civic functioning, that for many adult immigrants acquiring a new language at a certain age, is not feasible and that a negative message is being delivered regarding the value of one's own language(s) and hence to the value of multilingualism. The talk will thus contest the wide beliefs about the policy by focusing on the harmful consequences of the tests (e.g., on self concepts, language and human rights, perpetuation of societal hierarchies); these claims will be accompanied by empirical evidence collected from immigrants about attitudes towards the tests, their impact on their lives and their interpretation of the policy. The paper will end with a proposal for a more just policy with regards to immigrants and language policies.

Download SymbolThe cycle of migration (PDF, 241 KB)
Nick Saville, Cambridge ESOL

The introduction of language assessment in the context of migration as a condition for entering the country, for long-term residency and/or for obtaining citizenship has been a major phenomenon in the past decade. In this talk it is proposed that a clearer understanding of “the migrant’s journey” is now needed, especially better understandings of the bureaucratic and societal processes and the various roles that language assessment can play at different stages of the journey. In order to describe what actually occurs in the contexts where the assessment takes place, it is suggested that the stages should be modelled according to six transition stages where permissions are needed and where regulations have to be followed (including the taking of tests etc.). These are: pre-Entry; arrival and entry; extension of stay; settlement or indefinite leave to remain; application for naturalisation; granting of citizenship and issue of the new passport. The complexity of the issues which arise point to a need for increased awareness of the principles and practices of language assessment amongst a wider community of stakeholders in society. Test providers such as members of ALTE have an important role to play in leading these discussions and in collecting appropriate data, both at macro and micro levels.

Download Symbol
Sprachprüfungen für Migranten in Europa (PDF, 74 KB)
Claire Extramiana, französisches Kulturministerium, Paris
Language examinations for migrants in Europe
A number of studies have shown that language examinations have become a major component of migration and integration in many European states, whether the concern is permanent residence or access to citizenship of the host country, not forgetting the reunion of families. This paper is based on the 2008 study supervised by the Council of Europe "Exigences linguistiques pour les migrants adultes dans les États membres du Conseil de l’Europe : Rapport d’enquête", - Section Minorités et Migrants (événements).

Download SymbolQuality in test development
Henk Kuijper, Central Institute for Test Development (Cito)
Language Tests for Social Cohesion and Citizenship. Issues of quality assurance An Outline for Policymakers
Many European countries are introducing or formalising linguistic requirements for the purposes of migration, residency and citizenship, and national governments often require language tests or other formal assessment procedures to be used. Where mandatory testing is either in place or under consideration, it is necessary to offer professional guidance based on good testing practice in all stages of test development to ensure that the needs of stakeholders are met and that tests are fair for test takers. Test fairness is a particularly important quality when tests are related to migration, residency or citizenship.

Bedarfsanalysen – Curriculum – Prüfung

Download Symbol Example: Denmark (PDF, 441 KB)
Gitte Østergaard Nielsen, dänisches Ministerium für Flüchtlinge, Immigration und Integrationsbelange
Language and societal knowledge
The presentation focuses on the political and institutional frameworks for the Danish language educational system – philosophy and key elements – and the importance of language proficiency in order to obtain family reunification, permanent residence permit and citizenship. Furthermore, the presentation will address the question of language as a key to cultural and societal understanding and as a key to facilitate general integration.

Download Symbol Example: Italy (PDF, 5,4 MB)
Lorenzo Rocca, University for Foreigners Perugia
From needs to test: the case of Italy
The CVCL - Centre for assessment and evaluation of the University for Foreigners of Perugia- has conduct a research project in collaboration with a network of public schools in Italy called CTP and involved, since their foundation at the end of the nineties, in adults life long training programmes and more recently in language tuition programmes for immigrants. The project is aimed to offer three level language examinations (from A1 to B1 of the CEFR, available in Italy since May 2008) that come at the end of specific language tuition courses linked to the exams in terms of needs analysis, approach and learning objectives. Adult immigrants with poor schooling represent the target: both syllabus and exam specifications have been produced and published.

Download Symbol Beispiel: Deutschland (PDF, 626 KB)
Michaela Perlmann-Balme, Goethe-Institut
The German Test for Immigrants (dtz) will be presented. This scaled language test on the levels A2 and B1 was developed on the instruction of the federal government as a final examination for the linguistic part of the so-called Integration Courses. The examination tasks have a practical orientation. The basis of the subject matter of the examination is the so-called Framework Curriculum for the Integration Courses. This curriculum defines what skills migrants need to take part on an equal basis in the host German society. The aim of the presentation is to show what strategies examination candidates have to apply to be successful. In the end two candidates who took part in the first examination administered in July 2009 are questioned.

The voice of the stakeholders: The impact of tests

Download Symbol A survey on the impact of language assessment for migration and integration in the UK (PDF, 330 KB)
Download Symbol Videos (ZIP, 2 MB)
Szilvia Papp, Cambridge ESOL
This presentation reports on an impact study focusing on test takers who have taken the Cambridge ESOL Skills for Life tests in the context of applying for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK. Extending the Cambridge ESOL model used for investigating test impact within an educational setting, this paper reports on the results of research to gather feedback from individuals within the main stakeholders (Zielgruppe) groups, especially from the test takers themselves. In addition to analyses based on routinely collected data for test validation purposes, this study reports on the analysis of questionnaire data and interviews with Skills for Life test takers. This data documents their own narratives in relation to their personal language learning and test taking experiences, as well as their views about the government policy and the qualities of the tests themselves. Impact studies of this kind – those that regularly monitor context of learning (including biographical data of test takers) and context of test use (including purposes of test use, interpretation and use of results, role of tests in fulfilling original objectives) - need to be carried out in a cyclical, iterative way to feed into test development and revision, as well as to inform policy making.

Download Symbol Survey on participants and teachers in Italy  (PDF, 358 KB)
Giuliana Grego-Bolli, University for Foreigners Perugia
The voice of the stakeholders: survey on participants and teachers in Italy
This presentation reports on the data of a pilot study that CVCL - the Centre for assessment and evaluation of the University for Foreigners of Perugia- has conduct on a specific project run in collaboration with a network of public schools in Italy involved in language tuition programmes for adult immigrants. The aim is to offer to these specific users a continuum represented by a language courses and language certifications strictly linked. Using a questionnaire and video recording interview, as sample of stakeholders participants (students and teachers), we gathered data who document the stakeholders’ view in relation to the project, both in terms of language tuition and exams. In addition, the feedback we had so far, was be used to look more deeply at the impact of the overall project on their lives, their social and work relationships, their learning attitudes.

Download Symbol Kursteilnehmerbefragung in Deutschland (PDF, 225 KB)
Sonja Haug, Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge

The integration history of participants in integration courses
A description is given of the integration courses provided by the Federal Department for Migration and Refugees and of the scientific support for the courses in the project "Integration History of Participants in Integration Courses (Integration Panel)“. The prime goal of the research project is to review the effectiveness and enduring impact of integration courses. For this purpose, standardised written surveys are conducted in a random sample of courses. The change in knowledge of German, of integration in general and of integration histories in various migrant groups is analysed. The knowledge gained is intended to ensure the conceptual control of integration courses. Results from the survey at the beginning and end of the integration course are presented.

    Multilingualism – Languages without borders

    What effect does multilingualism have on political, social, spiritual and cultural life? What value for the economy and science?


    With texts, sound reports and photos, reporters cover four selected projects within the “Multilingualism – Languages without Borders” initiative.