NGPT – a placement test with a difference
In order to progress to the next level of language competence, there is the all-important first step to be taken – assessment of one’s initial level, before setting the aims and outcomes of the learning process. For both the student and the language school this is moment of prime importance, with a decisive effect on the learning outcome. However, it is even more important that the experience of initial or placement test be a motivating one.
For many language schools, this has been an impossible task for many years. Now, things are about to change with the Next-generation Placement Tool, the NGPT.
The usual scene at the language school: a member of staff is escorting a prospective student to her desk in the empty classroom. The standard procedure is about to begin: the placement test to determine the initial level of language competence.
However, this time the routine seems to be a completely different one: instead of the usual five or so pages with the 100-odd questions, the candidate is given a tablet; instead of the lengthy instructions on how to mark the correct answers and then copy them onto the separate answer sheet, the instructions this time take only a few moments. A couple of clicks, and the test can start.
And immediately there is the look of intense focus on the candidate’s face. Not a trace of confusion or doubt as the touch-screen responds to swift movement of the index finger and the questions line up one after another, seemingly effortlessly…
For our school, this is a completely new experience, the experience of the Next Generation Placement Tool – the intuitive, adaptive placement test for six European languages. Developed by the consortium of five international partners under Erasmus+ programme, the novel online placement test will soon be available under free licence, enabling free use by hundreds and thousands of organisations and language teaching professionals, as well as learners.
It has taken more than two years of planning, preparation and development, it has involved dozens of teachers and staff working for countless hours…
Yes, it has been a long journey, but the one very well worth of its destination. Having NGPT among our assets represents a crucial vantage point in our development as the school – it opens exciting new opportunities, from blended and online courses to exam preparation, from in-company training to teacher training.
Back in the classroom, some twenty-five minutes later, the test is completed. What would have been impossible only a week ago, has now become a reality – the score is already on the screen. The level has been determined the moment the test is finished and there is no need for the lengthy checking. Instead, the teacher and the candidate can start discussing the course options…
Officially NGPT has replaced the paper tests at our Blackbird Language School as of November 2022. A hugely important moment in the school’s 25 years’ long history, as the old paper tests are removed to take their place on the shelves among the other archive materials!
Join in for your own NGPT experience at: www.nextgenplacement.org