Meeting UKALTA at Language World 2021

Attending Language World Conference for the first time in 2021 was new member Professor Lynda Taylor, President of UKALTA. We welcome her, and asked her to tell us more about her Association.

‘UKALTA is the UK Association for Language Testing and Assessment, a professional organisation that aims to provide a forum for the exchange of information and research on language testing and assessment.  Membership is free of charge to individuals with a professional and/or academic interest in the field and who are working, studying or living in the UK (or have strong UK connections).

We exist to support the language testing and assessment research and practitioner community in the UK and to mentor new and emerging researchers and professionals in the field.

While our roots lie in the domain of teaching and learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and L2 English assessment, including English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English as an Additional Language (EAL), our interests and concerns extend to modern foreign languages (e.g. French, Spanish, Arabic) and other national languages taught or spoken in the UK (e.g. Welsh), as well as less widely taught or spoken languages, including heritage and community languages.

UKALTA has five organisational aims and objectives:

  • exchange of information and research
  • training and professional development
  • collaboration across UK language education
  • awareness-raising and advocacy
  • outreach and public engagement.

We believe, along with others in the field, that language skills enhance employability, enabling people to navigate multicultural environments, be sensitive to cultural difference, and thus be better at conceiving events and issues from multiple viewpoints. Languages are also sociocultural resources to be cherished and nurtured; recognition and support for the languages of minority and indigenous populations is critical to creating multilingual societies as well as for effective cross-cultural communication.

A holistic, system-wide approach that will reverse the current decline and revive language education in the UK for the future must include attention to the ways in which language teaching and learning are assessed.’

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