As our lives and communities become increasingly interconnected with the rest of the world, English language proficiency empowers us to communicate in social, educational and professional settings. Students at school and university will benefit from educational reforms that focus on developing all four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and this will ultimately lead to the development of richer economic and cultural ties between countries.
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of English educational reform, it’s necessary to assess the four skills. The introduction of speaking and writing exams by Japanese schools and universities will be a major driving force in the development of students’ overall English language skills. At the same time, teachers will need training and support in order to help learners increase their skills and motivation.
We asked assessment researchers, test developers and teachers to share their perspectives on the role of assessment in enhancing Japan’s English education so that it produces students with practical English skills. We also asked about what is required in classrooms to develop students’ proficiency in all four skills.