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EUGENE, OR, May 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Avant Assessment, a leading, U.S.-based global provider of language assessments, and Qatar Academy, a prestigious International Baccalaureate World School located in Education City, Doha, have successfully partnered to create and deliver the first Arabic Language tests designed to measure proficiency across the four domains of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The partnership between Qatar Academy and Avant Assessment began in June 2012 with the express purpose of building innovative online tests that will serve the needs of native Arabic speaking students at schools in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and greater Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.
Built to Qatar Academy's standards around language arts and proficiency for grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-10, the tests were administered for the first time last week in schools located in Doha, Cairo and Dubai. The Arabic Proficiency Tests are computer-adaptive, meaning that the level of question difficulty that a student is presented with is based on the number of correct answers they have logged so far in the test. The testing engine automatically adapts to each student's level--up or down--as the test progresses. In addition, prompts for the productive skills (Writing and Speaking) are based on the proficiency level attained for the corresponding receptive skills (Reading and Listening). This approach was pioneered at Avant Assessment, the first company to develop commercial-grade, multi-stage, computer-adaptive tests for language learning, beginning in 2002.
"This cutting-edge assessment is a major milestone for Arabic-language education," said Diana Rosberg, Qatar Academy's Head of Curriculum. "For the first time ever, teachers and schools will be able to ascertain students' exact skills in all language domains: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Schools can apply this knowledge to analyze and improve their Arabic-language programs."
The importance of Arabic language learning and high levels of proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic are evident in the number of schools across the region that have signed up to participate. So far, 18 schools in six countries have registered thousands of students. The results for Reading and Listening tests are available upon test completion, while Speaking and Writing tests will have results available in about two weeks, because those are scored by native language professionals. With such rich data at their fingertips, teachers and administrators are able to see immediately how each student, class, and school are performing. This data is critical to improving Arabic teaching and learning, which is foundational to meeting the objectives of the Qatar Vision 2030 focused on developing human potential for the future of the country.
"It has been an honor to work with the team from Qatar Academy," said Jon Bower, CEO of Avant Assessment. "Their dedication to their students, and to their language and culture is evident from the quality of the assessments they specified. We look forward to a long and productive partnership with the Academy as they continue their work to improve Arabic instruction in their schools and across the region."
About Avant Assessment
A leader in language proficiency assessments, Avant provides research-based assessments for World Languages and English in reading, writing, listening and speaking. With expertise in linguistics, assessment, technology and education at their foundation, Avant's solutions build student and teacher confidence in real-world learning and deliver accurate standards-based data to inform the learning process, so that every student can be ready to thrive in a diverse world. To learn more about Avant Assessment, please visit www.avantassessment.com.
About Qatar Academy
Qatar Academy (QA) is one of the Middle East's premier educational institutions. QA is an International Baccalaureate World School also accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools. The school offers academic excellence through Primary, Middle Year and IB Diploma programs based on the principle that education involves the development of a student's cognitive, physical, social, moral and affective capabilities. It is the mission of Qatar Academy (QA) to provide internationally accepted, comprehensive, English medium programs plus Arabic and Islamic studies from preschool through to secondary graduation. QA develops independent critical thinkers, lifelong learners, responsible citizens, and empowers students to gain entrance to elite universities and colleges. To learn more about Qatar Academy, please visit http://www.qataracademy.edu.qa/.
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