Integrating English into primary education world wide

07 July 2009

Learning and assessment in primary schools was top of the agenda at a recent conference in Cambridge.

International delegates from education authorities and ministries attended the event hosted by one of Cambridge Assessment’s exam boards, Cambridge English – the world’s leading provider of language assessment.

Presenters from Europe, Latin America, Russia and North Africa outlined the positive impact of assessment in the classroom and the successful integration of English language teaching into the primary curriculum.

Dr Michael Milanovic, CEO at Cambridge English explains: "The event’s main goal was to bring together key global practitioners who are involved in policy design and the development of English in the compulsory education sector. It was an honour to welcome such a diverse range of industry experts; we had presenters from all corners of the globe at this event. Participants explored and shared knowledge, ideas and experiences associated with all aspects of assessment and learning in the compulsory education sector."

Held at the Møller Centre in Cambridge – the event ran from the 12 – 14 June. Over the three days, delegates had the opportunity to engage with assessment experts and practitioners from across the globe. The calibre of international speakers attending English at School 2009 shows a greater level of importance being placed on the standard of English language teaching and testing in the primary education sector world wide. Some delegates also used the opportunity to take a closer look at the UK's education system. A delegation from the Vietnamese ministry of Education visited two Cambridge Schools, St Matthew’s Primary and The Perse School.

Presentations included:

Annie Hughes, Assistant Director, Centre for English Language Teaching, University of York, UK: “Which comes first? How can we link teaching with assessment when teaching English to Young Learners”.

Maureen Scanlan, Teacher, St Brendan’s College, Buenos Aires, Argentina: “Introducing PET as an objective in the bilingual primary curriculum”.

Olga Bylim, Academic Director, Secondary School 40, Yekaterinburg, Russia: “TKT: The way to professional success”.

Virginia Sitarz, Primary School teacher and teacher trainer, Lublin, Poland: “The introduction of YLE into a primary school in Poland”.

Szilvia Papp, Validation Officer, Cambridge English, Cambridge, UK: “The development of Can Do statements for school learners: How can they be used in formative assessment?”

Ebru Gultekin, Head of English at Bahçesehir College, Istanbul, Turkey: “Candidates’ positive experience of assessment in primary schools in Turkey”.

Emilio Diaz, Secretary General, FERE, Madrid, Spain: “The BEDA Project: Introduction of bilingual education into schools in Madrid”.

Maria Saadi, Coordinator and Head of English Department, Khalil Gibran School, Rabat, Morocco: “Introducing YLE into primary schools in Morocco”.

Neil Jones, Assistant Director, Research and Validation, Cambridge ESOL, Cambridge UK: “European surveys, European frameworks – and classrooms”.

Rocío Valenzuela, Sinaloa State Coordinator for the English Program in Primary Public Schools, Sinaloa, Mexico: “Teaching English in Mexico”.

Jean François Pasturel, Inspector in charge of Brittany Project at Rectorat (LEA), Brittany, France: “The use of FCE in Brittany”.