Thirteen participants from as many nations graduated from the Marshall Center’s Partner Language Training Center Europe (PLTCE) Advanced Language Testing Seminar (ALTS) March 23. (Marshall Center photo)
By Roxane Harrison
Partner Language Training Center Europe
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 23, 2018) – Thirteen participants from as many nations graduated from the Marshall Center’s Partner Language Training Center Europe (PLTCE) Advanced Language Testing Seminar (ALTS) March 23.
PLTCE conducts the three-week Advanced Language Testing Seminar (ALTS) once a year for testing professionals involved in their nations’ STANAG 6001 Language Proficiency Testing Program.
In order to attend this course, participants must be members of their national testing team, have completed the foundation level course, the Language Testing Seminar, and be recommended by their chain of command.
STANAG 6001 is NATO’s Standardization Agreement for Language Proficiency Levels. It is used for proficiency testing, and it also informs language requirements for international staff appointments and for recording and reporting measures of language proficiency.
One of the main aims of the ALTS is to help national STANAG 6001 testers to standardize with testers from other nations across the NATO and partner alliance. This is vital to ensure that tests and test results are standardized and commensurate from nation to nation. Standardized STANAG 6001 test results support interoperability in NATO.
The ALTS follows a blended approach with up to 40 hours of pre-seminar assignments to complete on an online Learning Management System (LMS) prior to arriving for this course.
Subject Matter Experts from the United States, Romania, Estonia and Slovenia, facilitated the modular course.
During the first and second modules, the focus was on developing and moderating test items at Levels 1, 2 and 3 for the skills of Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. The third module focused on validation, which includes running statistics from test results and analyzing statistical data sets in order to inform item selection and the test development process. The final module dealt with best practices and challenges associated with managing and administering a high-stakes national language testing program. Throughout the ALTS, a common thread was the Roadmap to a Validity Argument and collecting evidence to support a validity argument.
The Partner Language Training Center Europe will hold the next ALTS in spring of 2019.