Designing a communicative foreign language assessment program for Dutch secondary schools

Authors Charline Rouffet, Catherine van Beuningen, Rick de Graaff
Published in Collated Papers for the ALTE 7th International Conference, Madrid
Publication date 2021
Research groups Multilingualism and Education
Type Lecture


While Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is nowadays widely recognized, the implementation of CLT in foreign language (FL) classrooms remains difficult. In the Netherlands, communicative learning goals have been formulated at the national level, but in daily practice assessments and learning activities tend to focus on knowledge of grammar rules and vocabulary out of context. Under the principle of constructive alignment, assessment and learning activities should be in line with learning objectives in order to enable effective teaching. Evaluation in particular plays a key role, because it has a direct impact on teachers’ pedagogical choices and students’ learning behavior (i.e., washback effect). To enhance alignment in the Dutch FL curricula of lower form education, the first author and 21 FL teachers collaborated to create a realistic, theoretically grounded communicative assessment program that would enable positive washback. This paper takes inventory of the challenges faced by teachers during the co-design process and the decisions that have been made to overcome them.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Collated Papers for the ALTE 7th International Conference, Madrid
Key words Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), foreign language teaching, secondary education, Netherlands
Page range 179-183

Charline Rouffet

Charline Rouffet

  • PhD candidate
  • Research group: Multilingualism and Education