Academic Summer is a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) operation. Their aim is to help students to think, learn and communicate in English as well as developing specialists in Maths, Sciences, Economics, History, ICT, Art and the whole range of academic subjects students will choose for their academic and professional careers.
Through the assessment Academic Summer can establish how able students are to use their English skills in the specific context of CLIL. The assessment gives Academic Summer and their students a Common European Framework (CEFR) level from A1 to C2 and this is useful information for the teachers to prepare their lessons.
What kind of test is the CLIL pre-course assessment? It isn’t simply a placement test. It isn’t wholly a diagnostic test, although it will help Academic Summer identify particular areas of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation which students need to work on. In simple terms, it is a proficiency assessment. Proficiency assesses not just what students have done and what they know, but what can they do with their knowledge.
CLIL is a complex area of learning & teaching. It is based on the 4Cs: Content (the academic subject) Cognition (how the brain works) Communication (what we do with what we know) and Culture. The Academic Summer CLIL pre-course test does not set out to test content knowledge although subject related questions are used. Nor does Academic Summer tests familiarity with any particular culture as Academic Summer students come from many different backgrounds and our culture is international.
What we test is Communication: how well students can use their English skills to deal with content-related tasks. The test also factors in cognition; what students can do depends on what they are prepared to try to do. For this reason, the test runs from A1 up to C2 and students can start and stop at points appropriate to them. The tasks ascend in order of challenge, and what students´attempts tells us a lot about what they can do now and what they will be able to do with the expert and professional support.
Reliability is essential. The assessment is designed to ensure that everyone gets a different but identical experience – how Academic Summer does it is their secret! Academic Summer trusts parents and agents who supervises the assessment to ensure that students do the assessment under exam conditions. Students should not get help from anyone as the assessment is intended to help Academic Summer to help them and to make sure that teachers know strengths and weaknesses of their students. Academic Summer wants to know limits and potential of its students so they know how to help their students in the summer.