Taking concept of Communicative Competence (Hymes, 1967) as our departure point, we make sure to give due consideration to the concept of quality language teaching in ensuring quality, strength and duration of the impact of our Next Generation Placement Tests.
The concept of quality language learning mirrors the process of quality language teaching. These are the two sides of the same process, with identical aims and objectives. From the aspect of language teaching professionals, language learning is the ‘flip side’ of the teaching process, guided and controlled by the teaching itself. The higher the quality of teaching, the higher the quality of learning.
The aims and objectives of language learning include development of the four language skills, as well as mastery of vocabulary and structure of the target language. In order for the language teaching process to be of adequate quality, the aims, objectives and outcomes of the learning process must be clearly defined within a framework of time and cost-efficiency.
Quality language teaching, however, goes beyond the sphere of the language structure itself, enabling and guiding learners to develop a number other skills such as learning to learn, critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, social responsibilities and professional accountability.
It can therefore be argued that quality language teaching plays an important role in the actual use of the target language by fast-tracking the learners towards their independent and effective use of the target language.
As part of the language Learning process, the Next Generation Placement Tests embrace this assumption aiming to make a strong contribution to the practice of quality language teaching.
The majority of the New Generation Placement Tests end-users will be adults, seeking an opportunity to engage in learning in one or more of the three broad learning environments known as Formal, Non-formal and Informal Education.
However, the spread of the quality language teaching is not an even one across these three categories: Whereas the sector of Non-formal Education arguably contains the highest percentage of quality language teaching, the sector of Formal Education can be seen as having quite a large proportion of only partial or inconsistent utilisation of quality standards in language teaching, with many young adults leaving formal education lacking the knowledge of foreign languages. Finally, the sphere of Informal learning is perceived as a highly heterogeneous and volatile area, in which the concept of quality language learning is at a risk of being substituted for a commercial promise of easy success in learning.
Having this in mind, the New Generation Placement Tests make a strong positive impact on the spread of quality language teaching. We ensure this aspiration by continual revision of quality through all of the stages of NGPT planning, preparation, design and implementation.