During the first phase of this project, as a result of a joint initiative of the St Petersburg City Department of Education and the British Council, a new model of school leaving exam for English was established in St Petersburg.

Client, stakeholders, partners

Ministry of Education and Science
Federal Testing Centre
Local educational authorities

Focus

The introduction of a valid and reliable school leaving examination system for English, at national level.

The project

During the first phase of this project, as a result of a joint initiative of the St Petersburg City Department of Education and the British Council, a new model of school leaving exam for English was established in St Petersburg.

In 2002 the Ministry of Education and Science conducted a tender for the new model of a Unified National Exam (UNE) for English. Our jointly developed product won the tender.

The St Petersburg team worked directly with the Ministry in designing and rolling out the new national exam. At the request of the Ministry and the Federal Testing Centre the British Council continued supporting the training of Russian examiners and item writers and was consulted by the Ministry on further development of the exam.

The project achieved the following outputs:

a valid and reliable examination system in English for use throughout Russia, which will be rolled out in 2009 by the Ministry
a skilled team of item writers and teacher trainers
an exam support system developed: training programmes for examiners, interlocutors, and test administrators, and a teacher training programme.

The number of regions taking the exam is growing every year. The team trained by the British Council provides on-going expertise, assisting with further revisions of the exam and delivering teacher training.

What the stakeholders say

 

It is evident that this project has been extremely successful, both in meeting its
original goals and in its wider impact during the dissemination process and its gradual adoption across a growing number of regions. Not only has the team created an examination format which has largely been adopted for the UNE in English and other foreign languages, and created teams of trained personnel to develop and support the examination as it has spread to more regions, but the syllabus of the exam seems to be having a wide impact on the approach to language teaching across Russia. The feedback that the reviewers received from Russian beneficiaries at all levels was overwhelmingly positive.
Review of the ELT projects in Russia, 2006 (C. Walter, R. West, R. Millrood)

 

 

 

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