Colloquium DILTEC,UPMC, Paris, 10 June 2011

Three GULT team members participated in the ALTE Conference 2011, which took place in Krakow, Poland, from 7 to 9 July 2011, and was attended by more than 400 specialists in language testing and assessment.The team gave a 45 minute presentation on task based testing, which was positively received and arose a lot of interest among the participants.

Testing Day, Helsinki, Finland, 19 May 2011

Two Finnish institutions hosted the GULT team in Helsinki on 19 May:  the University of Helsinki Language Centre and the Finnish National  Board of Education. In the morning Johann Fischer and his team members  introduced and promoted  task based LSP language testing and assessment among 45university teachers of different languages, and in the afternoon they presented and discussed task based approach to language testing with 20 testing specialists from different Finnish institutions. The presentations and  workshops were highly successful and the feedback was very positive. Pdf file

Assessment and Evaluation in School, Budapest, 25-26 March 2011

An international conference ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION IN SCHOOL organized by the European Parents' Association together with the Hungarian Pedagogic Society/Comenius  took place in Budapest on 25-26 March 2011. As part of a workshop on language assessment and testing, Anu Virkkunen-Fullenwider introduced the GULT project and the principles  of task-based language testing.

3rd Bremen Symposion “Autonomy and Assessment”, Bremen, Germany, 5 March 2011

During the 3rd Bremen Symposion “Autonomy and Assessment. Testing, Evaluating and Certifying” Johann Fischer gave a plenary speech on the importance of the productive skills in language testing. He emphasised that testing productive skills is more important than testing the receptive skills when evaluating our students’ language competence. He then explained possibilities and opportunities of task-based testing in a university context, such as the GULT approach.
Further information, including the PPT presentation and a video-recording of his speech, is available on the conference website at


Rencontre FLE, Bremen, Germany, 3 March 2011

At a meeting of teachers of French at university language centres in Lower Saxony and Bremen on “Tests et évaluation : critères et modalités” Johann Fischer gave a presentation and co-ordinated a workshop on task-based assessment entitled “L’approche actionnelle et les examens”, in which he explained the GULT approach and the outcomes of the GULT project.
file: 2011_03_IFBreme_2011_03_03.pdf


GULT Expert Meeting, Graz, 13-14 January 2011

The team first carefully analysed the feedback and the materials created during the network meeting. After that, the main emphasis was on finishing the GULT Guidelines to be sent to the participants of the network meeting for further comments. The plans were made how to bring the project to an end, to create a network of language testers using the TBA approach and to disseminate the GULT ideas further in the university setting.


Network meeting, Graz, 11-12 January 2011

A network meeting  on task-based language testing was organised at ECML, Graz, January 11-12. The meeting was attended by 14 participants from 14 countries, the farthest being Canada. Of the participants, 10 had attended the workshop in May 2010. The working languages were English and French.The meeting consisted of plenary sessions and group work.

The main aims and objectives of the meeting were 1) to review all the produced materials for the publication of the guidelines, 2) work on sample task-based tests, and 3) form an international network for institutions interested in task-based testing.

The good atmosphere of the meeting provided a fruitful environment for the active and productive participation, which gave all the participants an idea how important synergy is in this kind of work. 

Project developments in 2010

In 2010 the GULT team worked on the guidelines for task-based university LSP tests at levels B2 and C1.
Furthermore, the team members participated in several international and national meetings and conferences, presenting the GULT task-based approach to testing.




Conference on "Standardized Language Testing and Research", Modena, Italy, December 2010

In December 2010 Johann Fischer gave a plenary at the Conference “Standardized Language Testing and Research” at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) and presented the task-based approach to language testing at university.

Expert Meeting in Strasbourg, France, 7-8 October 2010

 The team members met in Strasbourg ,October 7-8 to prepare for the expert and network meetings in January 2011. The University of Strasbourg gave us the work facilities and also informed us of their use of task-based assessment. Based on the materials of the May workshop, the team totally restructured the draft guidlines, worked on the logo for the project and divided the work to be done before the expert and network meetings in January 2011.

11th CercleS conference in Helsinki, Finland, September 2010

Johann Fischer and Anu Virkkunen-Fullenwider gave a paper on the GULT Project at the 11th CercleS Conference in Helsinki, Finland  in September 2010. Here you will find their presentation. The paper was very well received by the audience and many colleagues had shown a strong interest in our activities.


Quality Assurance of Language Programmes Symposium, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 24-25 June 2010


Workshop in Graz, 26-28 May 2010


A workshop on task-based language testing was organised at ECML, Graz, 26-28. The workshop was attended by 31 participants from 29 countries, the farthest being Canada and Armenia. The working languages were English and French, and the task-based testing also concentrated on these two languages. The workshop consisted of plenary sessions and group work. First, the participants familiarized themselves with ready-made materials, then developed their own tests and worked on evaluation and feedback grids. The participants were very active, which lead to lively discussions on relevant issues in language testing in general and in task-based language testing in particular.

Information for workshop participants: please click here



5. LAG-Tag der Fremdsprachen und Philologie, Potsdam, Germany, May 2010

On May 8th, 2010, Johann Fischer and Catherine Jaeger co-ordinated the workshop “Handlungsorientierung beim Sprachtesten im Hochschulbereich” (“task-based assessment at university”) at the University of Potsdam.



26. Arbeitstagung des AKS "Exzellent und initiativ", Bochum, Germany, February 2010

During the 26th biannual AKS Conference “Exzellent und initiative” Johann Fischer co-ordinated a section on “Assessment, Testing and Certification” together with Astrid Reich at the University of Bochum, and he gave a brief introduction into task-based assessment and the GULT project.

Workshop in Göttingen, Germany, on Testing Oral Skills, 30-31 October 2009

A workshop on testing oral skills was organised at the University of Göttingen on 30 and 31 October 2009 in co-operation with the GULT project, CercleS and UNIcert. 53 participants from all over Europe attended the workshop, which consisted of plenary sessions mainly in English and language specific working groups for English (2 groups), French, German, Italian and Spanish. The participants analysed video-recordings of oral exams, developed models of best practice and worked on grids for assessing speaking at level B2 and C1. The workshop was highly successful and the feedback was extremely positive. The participants asked for a follow-up in 2010.

20. BUTA, Zinnowitz, Germany, September 2009

During the 20th national conference of the German network of university language teachers on “Assessment, Testing and Marking” Johann Fischer gave a plenary on task-based language testing at university and presented the GULT project

Meeting in Strasbourg, France, on Language Resource Centres, on 30 June 2009

On 30 June 2009, Johann Fischer and Catherine Chouissa gave a presentation on the GULT project at the University of Strasbourg: “Enhancing motivation through a higher degree of autonomy”. This approach was very well received by the language teachers and heads of language resource centres from France, Andorra, Iceland and Morocco who attended the two-day workshop.
Here you will find the presentation, available in French only.


Workshop Bratislava

On 21 May 2009 Johann Fischer and Stefania Dugovicova gave a short paper on the GULT project and ran a workshop on task-based testing in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic.The workshop was attended by university language teachers from Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Pdf file  

Expert meeting, 23-24 April 2009

The GULT team met in Graz for the second time to draft the structure and the materials for the GULT Workshop on task-based testing, which would take place in May 2010. The materials included models of best practice for task-based exams and the preliminary ideas of the GULT Handbook. The team also had discussions with ECML staff to better organize the upcoming event and met with the members of the CLIL-LOTE-GO and CONBAT + teams.

AKS Symposion, Bremen, Germany, March 2009

In March 2009 Johann Fischer gave a paper on “Increasing the motivation and the autonomy of test-takers in task-based language testing” at the 2nd AKS Symposium in Bremen.


1.1 Developments in 2008

In 2008 the GULT team developed a structure for a task-based university LSP test at level C1.
Furthermore, the team developed a model task-based exam in co-operation with the UNIcert® Committee and colleagues at our institutions.

UNIcert Workshop, Tübingen, Germany, November 2008

In November 2008, Johann gave a plenary at the 9th UNIcert® Workshop on action-based language testing, which you will find here.

 file: 2008 TUE_handlgsorientiertes Sprachtesten.pdf

In a section on partial competences, co-ordinated by Johann Fischer and Gardenia Alonso from the University of Göttingen, a group of approx. 15 language teachers worked on the dilemma of testing the individual skills while following an integrative approach, and developed draft task-based UNIcert® exams in English (level C1), German (level B2) and Spanish (level B1). For further information please consult the structure of the section here (available in German only).


1.2 Paper QualiDaF Workshop (LAAKEA Project)

In October 2008, Johann Fischer gave a paper on evaluation and assessment of speaking skills at a QualiDaF workshop, which was organised within the framework of the Finnish LAAKEA project. In his paper he also referred to the GULT project. Here you will find his presentation, available in German only.

Paper CercleS Conference, Seville, Spain, September 2008

2008_Cercles_Fischer_Virkkunen-Fullenwider_GULT.pdf Anu Virkkunen-Fullenwider and Johann Fischer gave a paper on the GULT Project at the 10th CercleS Conference in Seville in September 2008. Here you will find their presentation. The paper was very well received by the audience and many colleagues have shown a strong interest in our activities since.

1.4 Report Internal UNIcert® Workshop

The final structure of a task-based GULT test was developed at an internal workshop of the UNIcert® Committee. The report on the workshop, which is only available in German at the moment, provides further information on how such a test or exam could or should be carried out. It also explains the various possibilities of organising and structuring a GULT exam. IWS_Doetlingen_AG2.pdf

1.5 Expert meeting, 17-18 January 2008

The first GULT (= Guidelines for University Language Testing) project expert meeting took place in ECML, Graz, on January 17 through 19, 2008. The team was first introduced to the activities and organization of ECML and the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe. The team members were especially impressed by the Resource Centre and the materials available for visitors for no charge. The ECML staff was very helpful to accommodate the team members, three of whom were in ECML for the first time.
After discussions, the team made the following decisions:
1) the levels of language skills concerned in the project are (B2) / C1 / (C2)
2) the project will concentrate on LSP in the tertiary level and the main approach is task-based LSP teaching and testing
3) the project will aim at transparency in the above-mentioned areas.
The concrete outputs of the meeting were: draft structure for the GULT guidelines, and materials for the PR of the project to be published on the ECML web pages, i.e. photos, personal profiles, project description in the two languages.
The team also decided on the division of labor and duties and how to proceed with the actual work when the team members are working on their own in their home countries. The first task to be completed will be the glossary, which will be available on the web.