16th International Conference


“Migration and Language Education”

Thessaloniki, Greece, 6-8 October 2017


The role of assessment in the language education
of immigrants and refugees

Saturday, 7 October 2017
10:00 - 17:00

The symposium will be held on the second day of the conference and will comprise three working sessions as follows:


Professor Little will consider the relation between teaching, learning and assessment from the perspective of the CEFR and introduce the tools that Integrate Ireland Language and Training developed on the basis of the CEFR’s descriptive scheme and proficiency levels. This part of the symposium will stress the essential indivisibility of teaching, learning and assessment and will include familiarization activities that require participants to work in small groups


Professor Erickson will consider the two basic functions of assessment: to enhance learning and promote equity. She will address aims, constructs, methods, agency, and consequences: aspects of language testing and assessment related to the questions Why?, What?, How?, Who?, and And…? Her presentation will include some short participant-interactive sessions, based on questions related to learning and equity in assessment.


Professor Little will briefly return to the curriculum framework elaborated by Integrate Ireland Language and Training, focusing on its relation to the Irish primary curriculum and explaining how it supports assessment of various kinds and for various purposes. Within this framework Dr Kirwan will describe the various modes of assessment used in Scoil Bhríde and explain how they are used to provide information about how and what pupils learn, to identify and affirm learning that has taken place, and to provide support for future learning.

Professor Erickson will conclude the session by briefly relating assessment at school to a larger picture, describing a Swedish national programme that maps the competences of newly arrived immigrant children and teenagers in several domains (literacy and numeracy, and a wide range of subjects, e.g. English, mathematics, natural and social sciences, home economics, music and physical education).

The last half hour of the day will be devoted to plenary questions, answers and discussion, with an emphasis on future action.