Editor’s note: In this piece, we share information about British Council’s “New Directions” conference. The text in this article has been adopted from the British Council’s website.

“New Directions in English Language Assessment” is a series of annual conferences organized by the British Council. The events provide perspectives and insight on trends and approaches in English language assessment locally and internationally. This year – the 8th New Directions conference – will be held in an online format October 30-31, 2020.

The theme of the event is “Connecting Contexts.” This issue remains particularly relevant to the current situation that we – educational institutions, learners, testers, and other stakeholders – find ourselves in. Worldwide, tests have been cancelled or postponed, and alternative means of assessment are being considered or adopted. These responses to the current, unprecedented context of learning and assessment bring with them their own issues: test-taker access to quality tests, challenges to validity and fairness of assessment, questions around test security, and practical problems around test delivery and technical capabilities.

New Directions 2020 will continue with the themes outlined above and, in recognition of the significant changes and challenges that social and/or physical distancing has raised, conference organizers will be including an additional sub-theme in the conference: “Rethinking Assessment: Innovation in Crisis.” This sub-theme specifically invites work-in-progress research, practical applications, and innovative solutions to assessing language proficiency in these challenging times.

There are a number of pre-conference activities which run throughout the month of October. Click here to learn more about all the opportunities outlined in this piece.