HEC, US embassy team up to train English teachers

ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), under its English Language Teaching Reforms (ELTR) project – in collaboration with the US embassy – organised a weeklong International Resource Person training on ‘Testing and Assessment on ELT’ at the Learning Innovation Division, HEC Islamabad. Twenty-four English teachers of public sector colleges from across Pakistan attended the training. The ELTR project has so far trained 160 English teachers from across the country in training courses organised in collaboration with the US embassy. HEC Executive Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmad was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of this training held on Friday. The main objectives of the training were to delineate the aspects of assessment/testing, discuss trends in ELT assessment, testing and alternative assessment and evaluate ways to assess a variety of language activities and skills. The training was a fusion of innovative activities and theory to provide an all-out exposure of testing and assessment techniques to the English fraternity. It aimed at creating awareness of the concepts, trends, principles and concerns of language assessment English community of colleges. James Stabler, who has extensive experience in conducting trainings on this particular theme, explained in detail the basic concepts and theories underlying testing, alternative assessment and rubrics. He introduced to the participants unique and striking ideas to construct tests for assessment of linguistic competence (grammar and vocabulary) and language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), and to use alternative forms of assessment in their classroom, in addition to traditional achievement tests. The participants worked in groups to develop different sample tests. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad reiterated the HEC’s plans to widen the scope of such trainings to facilitate more teachers and address the need of language reforms at a larger scale. He thanked the US embassy for extending support to train indigenous English faculty. “It is extremely important for teachers to effectively communicate to students. They are supposed to create a friendly environment for their students and involve them while employing different teaching methodologies.” 

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