Monterey, USA 16-21 October, 2011 “Furthering our Training Goals Through Research” BILC UPDATES Julie J. Dubeau & Jana Vasilj-Begovic BILC Secretaries
Outline • What is BILC? • Secretariat, Mission & Vision • STANAG 6001 • Programme of work • Assistance to Testing Programmes • Collaborative Language Training Assessments • Special Projects or WGs • STANAG 6001 - Testing Conferences • Other Updates
Secretariat The BILC Chairman presides over the Steering Committee The voting members of the Steering Committee are the heads of each full member (NATO) delegation. Secretariat staffed by: GRB (1966-1981) DEU (1982-1996) USA (1997-2008) CAN (2008- forever)
BILC Steering Committee Chair Dr. R. Monaghan BILC Secretariat Senior Advisor Dr. R. Clifford Secretary J. Dubeau Deputy Sect’y J. Vasilj-Begovic Associate Secretaries Language Testing Programmes P. Garza Language Training Assessments K. Wert
BILC Mission To promote and foster interoperability among NATO and Partner nations by furthering standardization of language training and testing, and harmonizing language policy. BILC supports the Alliance through the exchange of knowledge and best practice, IAW established procedures and agreements.
BILC Vision To achieve levels of excellence where progress made by one is shared by all.
Two Main Annual Events • Annual BILC Conference in Spring • 8-13 May 2011 hosted by Lithuania “Developing Operational Proficiency” • 13-18 May 2012 hosted by Czech Rep. “Lifelong Language Learning: Enhancing Educational Effectiveness” • Professional BILC Seminar in Fall • 21-26 October 2012 hosted by Slovenia • October 2013 hosted by Sweden
What does BILC do? • Assistance to National Testing Programmes (Ms. P. Garza, associate BILC secretary) Goal: To provide assistance to nations in establishing, restructuring or improving their testing systems • Collaborative Language Training Assessments (Mr. K. Wert, associate BILC secretary) Goal: To assess language training programmes and offer recommendations to requesting nations
Custodian of STANAG 6001 • Edition 4promulgated by NSA Oct 2010 • STANAG contains base and plus levels • STANAG is commensurate with ILR • STANAG is not commensurate with CEFR - • But they could be compatible ! • STANAG 6001 in English and French can be downloaded (for free!) from the BILC website: www.bilc.forces.gc.ca
Level 4 Working GroupBGR, CAN, DEU, DNK, ITA, NLD, SHAPE, USA In Istanbul, BILC Steering Committee recommended to form a working group to: • Analyse Level 4 construct • Study feasibility of testing at Level 4 • Develop test specs if need established
Level 4 Working GroupSTATUS • WG met in Stockholm, Aug 2011 • Refined conceptual model draft (work to be continued online) • Assessed samples contributed by nations
Level 4 Working GroupPRELIMINARYCONCLUSIONS • Test design at this level a challenge • Samples reviewed were not at level 4 due to elicitation limitations • Level 4 proficiency an unrealistic training/testing goal for many nations • Few positions should be designated as level 4 • Report to be generated and presented at BILC Conference in May
STANAG 6001 Testing Conference Stockholm, SWE, 6-8 Sep, 2011 Theme: Topics in Testing Writing • Differences between level 2 and 2+ writing samples • Comparative analysis of concrete and abstract discourse • Holistic versus analytical rating • Intra/inter-rater reliability • Characteristics of written text features at different levels Small group workshops/panels
STANAG 6001 Testing Conference Specific Goals • Increase understanding of the STANAG 6001 descriptors for writing • Compare analytical and holistic rating scales • Improve elicitation techniques • Standardize the rating of writing tests • Identify the challenges of testing writing and discuss possible solutions
Follow-Up from Vilnius • STANAG for non-specialists • SG in Vilnius started work - Sec will produce draft for SG to review in Prague • Terminology WG • Follow-up will be made by Col Ernst (AUS) • Draft Targets: July 2011: Sec proposed: Officers: Optimum SLP 3333, Minimum SLP 2+2+2+2+ NCOs : Optimum SLP 2+2+2+2+, Minimum SLP 2222