In episode 65, Stacey brings in several guests to discuss preparing students to take those big, standardized tests that students around the world take to certify their language ability, a practice that comes with some benefits but also some challenges. We will revisit some previous episodes, and hear from two guests that are new to the podcast, Savas Savides, an educational consultant in Greece, and Dongbing Zhang, a PhD student in Australia who has also taught English in China.


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Show Notes

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Savas Savides has worked for a number of private language schools in Greece, and has also worked as a test center administrator. For the past 18 years, he has been an educational consultant for international publishers (like Oxford University Press and Pearson – York Press), and a teacher trainer. Savas blogs about all things education at  He can be reached via Twitter @BrightClassIdea or by email.

Dongbing Zhang is a PhD student in Australia. Prior to starting grad school, he was an English teach in China. If you want to reach out to Dongbing to ask him questions, you can find him on email.

Previous episodes connected to this topic…

…the previous series on the Seal of Biliteracy: Episodes 62, 63, 64

Episode 23: Performance Assessment, Can Dos, and ACTFL resources with Paul Sandrock

Episode 25: Responding to a Listener Comment on Tests

Episode 52: Story Listening and Efficient Acquisition with Beniko Mason

Episode 58: Principles of Outstanding Language Teaching with Steve Smith


Some useful sites on standardized testing in the countries mentioned…

…the US: AP exam, AAPPL exam, TOEFL

…Japan: new plans for standardized testingthe tests accepted for university admission

…UK: GCSE, A Levels

…China: CET (which includes, as Dongbing mentioned, band 4 and band 6 tests, news plans for standardized testing in China

…Greece: Savas mentioned in the interview that there are currently 23 different English tests in Greece, and here’s an interesting paper I found online about Greece’s foreign language testing

CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning 


The Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR)…

An overview

A detailed look

A comparison between CEFR and the US/ACTFL proficiency levels


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