Skip to main content Skip to navigation

ealtalogo Keynotes and Round Table


EALTA 2014 will have two keynote speakers and a round-table discussion on the conference theme.

We would like to welcome our two keynote speakers

Dr David Little, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland:

Learning, teaching, assessment: an exploration of their interdependence in the CEFR


David Little retired in 2008 as Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Head of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences at Trinity College Dublin. His principal research interests are the theory and practice of learner autonomy in second language education, the exploitation of linguistic diversity in schools and classrooms, and the use of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to support the design of second language curricula, teaching and assessment. Starting in 1998, he played a leading role in the development and implementation of the European Language Portfolio, and he remains a member of several Council of Europe expert groups.
Please click here for David's abstract.


Dr Dorry Kenyon, CAL Washington, USA

From Test Development to Test Use Consequences: What Roles does the CEFR Play in a Validity Argument?


Dorry M. Kenyon is CAL’s Vice President for Programs, with primary responsibility for preK-12 English language learner assessment and research. Active in research on language testing, Dr. Kenyon is particularly interested in the application of new technology to language assessment problems. Dr. Kenyon’s unique expertise lies at the intersection of applied linguistics, language teaching, language testing, and psychometrics. At CAL, Dr. Kenyon has had considerable experience in all aspects of designing, developing, validating, and operationalizing both English and foreign language assessments for language learners of all ages, preschool through adult. Dr. Kenyon also serves as senior advisor on a variety of assessment and research projects at CAL.

Please click here for Dorry's abstract.


On Sunday, we will have a round-table discussion on the conference theme: "CEFR - where are we now".

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Neus Figueras.
We would like to welcome our discussants Dr Brian North, Dr David Little, Dr Dorry Kenyon and Dr Claudia Harsch.

 neus_f.jpg Neus Figueras is currently working in the Departament d’Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya, where she coordinates the certificate exams for the Escoles Oficials d’Idiomes. She is also lecturing part-time at the University of Barcelona and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She has been involved in a number of international research and development projects (Speakeasy, Dialang, Ceftrain)
and collaborates regularly with the Council of Europe in the dissemination of the Common European Framework of Reference in relation with testing and assessment. She has published articles in the field of language teaching and assessment and is one of the authors of the Manual for Relating examinations to the CEFR (Council of Europe, 2009). She was the first President (2004-7) of EALTA.


Brian North worked for 37 years for Eurocentres, the Swiss-based foundation that teaches languages where they are spoken, an official NGO to the Council of Europe since 1968. He is actively involved in EAQUALS (Evaluation and Accreditation for Quality Language Services) and was its Chair 2005-10. The subject of his PhD was the development of the levels and descriptors for the CEFR, of which he was co-author. He was also co-author of the prototype European Language Portfolio, the Manual for relating examinations to the CEFR, the Core Inventory for General English and the European Profiling Grid for language teacher competences.


Claudia Harsch researches and teaches at Warwick in the field of language teaching, intercultural competencies, and testing and assessment. Her research interests focus on the analysis and implementation of the Common European Framework, assessing writing and constructing rating scales, qualitative methods to develop and validate assessment tools, teacher training in the field of assessment literacy, difficulty-determining characteristics for assessing receptive skills, the role of assessment across cultures, and conceptualisations and possible approaches to assessing intercultural competencies. She has presented at international conferences and published widely in the area of language testing and assessment. Claudia is convenor of the EALTA SIG Assessing Writing.