About New Directions English

Mat Wright

Background and Objectives

The main aim of this symposium is to support education reform and internationalisation in Japan. Building on the success of its symposium on possible UK-Japan cooperation in education reform in October 2013, the British Council aims to focus its 2nd symposium on English education and assessment.  This theme was widely discussed at our international symposium organised in Beijing last autumn, and we believe that it would be helpful to develop those insights in the context of Japan. However, while focusing on the situation in Japan and while working with Japan-based participants and speakers, we will also draw on expertise and experience from the UK and elsewhere in East Asia. 

We aim to provide a forum for dialogue both on language assessment policy as well as on applied assessment practices and systems. We will consider 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

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.


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 areas such as online language assessment.

See also