Cambridge Assessment English's Deputy Director of Partnerships, Projects and Policy, Hanan Khalifa, reflects on her first professional visit to the small island with a big Cambridge Assessment relationship.
March 2018 witnessed my first ever trip to Singapore; a small island with small population but a country with whom Cambridge Assessment has a long standing history. I was very lucky that my first visit coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization's Regional Language Centre (RELC). I spoke about “investigating impact” sharing insights from our work in the ASEAN Economic Community, reflections based on personal anecdotes and a video on high stakes assessment which struck a cord with the audience. It was lovely to reconnect with my old tutors Jack Richards and David Nunan. Time has passed but their sense of humour and wit are as sharp as ever. My co-author Anne Burns and my Reading mate Amos Paran. were also there. It was indeed a reunion (pictured below).
Joining me at RELC was Nisreen Ash who led a workshop on materials adaptation with Puspha, educational technology officer from the Malaysian Ministry of Education. This year RELC has really surpassed itself with the 'A List' of plenary speakers and the number and quality of parallel sessions, with a spectacular opening from the School of Dance and Modern Arts (pictured below).
My plenary was the first one right after the opening so, to unwind, I took full advantage of having Sunday off: brunch with ex-colleague Mike Bartlett and his family (pictured right with me), exploring the shopping scene with Cheng Pier who made sure I visited my favourite shoe shop, to stock up, and spending evening with Nisreen Ash at Gardens by the Bay (pictured top of the page) – designed by British firms Grant Associates and Dominic White, to transform Singapore from a “Garden city” to a “City in a Garden”.
Deputy Director of Partnerships, Projects and Policy, Cambridge Assessment English