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Open Access Developing an Assessment System of Speaking Skills in English as a Foreign Language Based on CEFR-J

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

Language skills are increasingly important as globalisation accelerates, necessitating an enhanced ability to communicate. Equally important is a deep understanding of cultures that can facilitate cross-cultural exchanges. At Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), Japan, great importance is placed on the learning of languages and cultures, as well as acquiring the English language as a 'lingua franca', or bridge language. Professor Yukio Tono, who is director of Lingua, the World Language Center at TUFS, leads a project called CEFR-Jx28 that is seeking to align teaching materials, instruction and assessment to the CEFR-J for Japanese university students for English and 27 other foreign languages. As CEFR was developed in Europe, it is necessary to adjust the rubrics for second language learners whose first language is Japanese. A project, led by Professor Asako Yoshitomi, the director of the English Learning Center, is also underway to develop English speaking tasks based on CEFR-J that can be used for instruction and assessment. Professor Masashi Negishi and the research team are developing a speaking test called BCT-S (British Council TUFS-Speaking Test for Japanese Universities) that is used for selective assessment for university admission. The BCT-S is a localised version of the CEFR-based Aptis into a speaking test based on the CEFR-J. The progress of students at TUFS is recorded in an e-portfolio called 'TUFS Record' and a summary of the TUFS Record is issued as a diploma supplement.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2021

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