About New Directions English

Mat Wright

Background and Objectives

The main aim of the symposium "New Directions English" held in 2014 was to support education reform and internationalisation in Japan.

Building on the success of the symposium on possible UK-Japan cooperation in education reform in October 2013, the British Council aimed to focus its 2nd symposium, held in 2014, on English education and assessment.  This theme was widely discussed at our international symposium organised in Beijing in the autumn of 2013, and we believed that it would be helpful to develop those insights in the context of Japan. While focusing on the situation in Japan and working with Japan-based participants and speakers, we also drew on expertise and experience from the UK and elsewhere in East Asia. 

We aimed to provide a forum for dialogue both on language assessment policy as well as on applied assessment practices and systems, and considered the challenges and benefits of current practice together with the challenges and implications of implementing change in light of Japan’s Education Reform Plan.

Our mission for New Directions English

A central British Council goal is to promote more widespread and better quality teaching, learning and assessment of English worldwide. We carry out this work for the public good. This symposium seeks to contribute to the transformation of approaches and practices in English language assessment in Japan.

Audience of New Directions English

The symposium is designed for a wide range of stakeholders in the field of language assessment: education officials at national and local levels; academics and researchers in the field of English language testing; teaching practitioners; members of assessment related associations and examination board representatives; special interest groups in test design, customization and reform, as well as those with specific interest in areas such as online language assessment.

See also