Tuesday 3rd September 2013 The Guildhall, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ

The Symposium

Since three candidates took our first English language exam a hundred years ago, speaking has been a distinctive feature of Cambridge English exams. Ideas about language ability and best practice in language assessment have evolved over the course of that century. And communication has become more important than ever in a hyper-connected world, and is happening via diverse new modalities and technologies. One wonders, in the future, how speaking ability will be conceptualised, and how that construct might be assessed.

In this one-day symposium we will look at the past, present and future of speaking assessment; the definition of the speaking construct; and will explore the role of technology in speaking assessment and its impact on current and future speaking tests.

The symposium is by invitation only and its goals are to gather together professionals with an interest in speaking assessment, to push the field forward by promoting dialogue among academics and practitioners, and to explore new challenges facing speaking assessment now and in the future.



For more information regarding the programme, including briefs of presentations, please visit the Programme page.


For more information on how to get to Cambridge and to the venue in the city centre, please visit the Visiting Cambridge section.


We hope you will be able to join us for the symposium. Please confirm your attendance.


Gad S Lim and Evelina D Galaczi lead the performance assessment research team at Cambridge English Language Assessment. Gad (PhD, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor) has experience of speaking and writing assessment as an examiner, test designer and developer, and researcher. He has published on raters and rating scales, on test characteristics and validation, and on standard setting. Evelina (PhD, Columbia University) has extensive experience as a researcher in speaking assessment, and as an ESOL teacher, teacher-trainer and programme administrator. Her research interests include the testing of speaking, discourse analysis and qualitative approaches to assessment research.