CBSE-appointed agency to test English

CBSE-appointed agency to test English

CBSE-appointed agency to test English

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will soon appoint an external agency to assess English communication skills of secondary and senior-secondary students.

The board, which has proposed to give 20 per cent weightage to English speaking and listening skills of class IX and XI students in their formative and summative assessments from 2013, has begun the process of engaging an agency which has international experience in conducting such tests.

The assessment will be compared to globally acceptable international standards. “The board envisages giving an internationally recognised qualification and certification in speaking and listening skills to all students passing out of CBSE affiliated schools,” a CBSE source told Deccan Herald.

Format of the test and assessment criteria will be developed by the agency based on the CBSE’s curriculum guidelines. “Appropriate and suitable test formats for both levels will be developed every year,” the source said.

The board wants to conduct external assessment of the students’ communication skills to ensure that both students and teachers put adequate efforts to raise the standard.

CBSE officials are of the view that testing of communication skills at the secondary and senior-secondary levels will have a positive impact on teaching and testing of English right from the elementary stages.

“The result of the examination will be used for the purpose of remediation through descriptors to profile an examinee to him or her give an opportunity to improve. The result will also be used to cause a wash back into classroom teaching learning process at all the levels in the schools,” the source added.

Besides assessing communications skills, the agency will also build capacity of English teachers. Teacher support and learner preparation materials will be developed to prepare both teachers and students for the test.