New Directions East Asia 2022 will take place over two days on December 9 & 10. Below are the key sessions that will be part of the programme this year.

Downloadable Full Programme Schedule is available here


  • Anindito Aditomo, Ph.D, Head of Agency for Standardization, Curriculum, and Assessment in Education. Ministry Of Education, Culture, Research and Technology - Striving for Quality in a Large and Diverse Education System: Indonesia’s Merdeka Belajar Reform
  • Professor Barry O'Sullivan, British Council - Reconsidering localisation
  • Dr. Neus Figueras, University of Barcelona - The role of assessment in successful language learning
  • Dr. Willy Renandya, National Institute of Education, Singapore - Understanding faulty beliefs and practices in ELT
  • Dr. Guoxing Yu, University of Bristol - Multimodal constructs of language assessment: From linguistics-focused multimodality to meaning-making multimodal orchestration in integrated language assessment tasks 

Panel discussions

Panel 1: Standards and Frameworks

Panel Chair: Dr. Jamie Dunlea, British Council



Panel 2: Humans and Technology

With technology playing an ever-increasing role in education, it is imperative to take some time to think about challenges, decisions and implications. In particular, the use of artificial intelligence for content creation and assessment requires special consideration, as it is our responsibility to ensure systems work as expected.  

This space will serve as a forum where experts and audience can reflect on the challenges that new technologies pose and how different stakeholders can work together to ensure successful implementations. Our discussion will address many of the topics surrounding the adoption of AI for teaching and testing purposes, including how models are built, bias, transparency, explainability, risks, stakeholders' attitudes and ethical considerations.  

 This session is aimed at educators, researchers, decision makers, technology enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in AI for education. As such, we will make all content accessible to a non-technical audience. We encourage attendees to actively engage in this discussion and explore with us how to best leverage the power of humans and machines to support teaching and assessment. 

Panel Chair: Geoff Stead, MyTutor



Symposium - Future of English

In 2006 David Graddol wrote his influential book English Next in which he examined the current and future trends in English language learning and teaching. In 2020 the British Council decided to revisit Graddol’s work and initiate a multi-phase, global project – The Future of English – to reflect on his predictions to assess where English is at the moment and where we think it might go in the next 10 years. This is particularly relevant at a time of great upheaval and change brought on by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

At the beginning of this session we will present overview of the project and findings so far. Panellists will then share opinions and insights from their experience of working in the field and discuss the future of English from the perspectives of their own contexts and areas of expertise. The Future of English is an invitation to engage in thinking and discussions about English, its various roles and what the future holds for it. Therefore, during the symposium, we welcome audience contributions and questions. 

Moderator: Mina Patel, British Council



Symposium - English-medium education; communities, collaboration and frameworks

As Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in East Asia seek to internationalise and strengthen their global competitiveness, we have seen an unprecedented growth in English as a medium of education (EME), sometimes called English as a medium of instruction (EMI); the provision of English as a language of learning and teaching in non-language subjects in contexts where English is not a home or familiar language.  While EME has many perceived benefits, there are also challenges to successful language policy and practice.

This session will examine how some of these challenges can be addressed through the breaking down of barriers, the use of technology and the use of frameworks to enable and promote quality, inclusive and sustainable EME. We will look at case studies from Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan, which while being diverse and individual contexts, face common challenges to effective EME at institutional and classroom level; mismatches between policy and practice, lecturer and student skill and knowledge gaps and insufficient support structures. The ‘EMI Pathfinder’ project in Indonesia has encouraged collaboration between subject specialists and language experts, resulting in a vibrant community of practice and co-created mechanisms and resources for professional development; overcoming challenges by bringing together stakeholders within and between institutions through technology. Similarly, in Philippines the ‘Access and Competitiveness through Internationalisation of Higher Education (ACT-IHE)’ project has utilised a MOOC platform to create space for collaboration, learning, sharing knowledge and building capacity through the upskilling EME content lecturers and Master EME trainers who can lead and take the project forward.

As one strand of a bigger project to widen access to quality education and build competitiveness of Filipino HEIs though internationalisation, we will explore how the project framework brings together initiatives in Trans-national Education and EME in a holistic approach to internationalisation. Through the Taiwan ‘EMI Quality Framework’ project we will look at the use of a standards framework to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and cohesion of a project to develop and implement institutional ‘EMI enhancement’ plans, embedding standards of good practice at micro, meso and macro levels of policy and practice. 

Moderator: Ian Clifford, British Council



New Directions East Asia 2023: Aptis Symposium: showcasing 10 years of innovation

Conference Theme: Bridging divides: Towards a comprehensive approach to language teaching, learning and assessment

Short abstract: Over the last decade, the Aptis test system has been at the forefront of the British Council’s work to provide high quality digitally delivered language assessment solutions to stakeholders across the globe. The Aptis Symposium will share experiences and insights from these 10 years of innovation.


Total time:  30 minutes

Chair: Sara Pierson

1. Inspiration and timeline for Aptis 2012-2022: Professor Barry O'Sullivan  (5 mins)

2. Local voices on use and impact: Aptis in East Asia Case Studies (15 mins)

  • Malaysia (TBC): A first large-scale use of Aptis with MoE, adapting to challenging country-wide delivery in remote villages to support a national teacher training project
  • Japan (Professor Masashi Negishi): Localisation project to facilitate introduction of BCT-S speaking tests to university entrance examinations in Japan, a long-term but still challenging goal for Japan education system.
  • Indonesia (Sue Davies): Aptis used to support exit testing at university, with Aptis Remote enabling remote online invigilation

3. Closing summary and comments by the Chair (10 minutes)


Symposium Title:  Aptis: 10 years of innovation in language assessment

In 2012, the British Council launched the Aptis Testing System, an innovative approach to delivering high quality, flexible, digital language testing solutions across four skills, including speaking and writing. The Aptis test system changed the way the British Council was able to respond to the range of test taker needs in the diverse range of international contexts in which it works. From the outset, the test system has prioritised digital delivery, while maintaining a strong focus on reliably measuring the ability to produce language for meaningful, communicative purposes. It has also emphasised flexibility through innovations such as modular delivery. Many of the innovations introduced by the Aptis test system have now become common across the language testing landscape. And Aptis itself has not stood still. A range of variants for different uses and use contexts have been introduced, and during the Pandemic, the British Council pivoted quickly to speed up the introduction of secure, online invigilation systems to support the remote delivery of reliable, four-skills testing options. As with many of the changes pushed forward by the global pandemic over the last 2 years, remote delivery has now become an important part of the language education and assessment landscape. From the outset, the British Council has conceptualised and implemented innovation in the Aptis testing system as a way of engaging with and meeting the needs of stakeholders across the globe for reliable language assessment. Understanding and adjusting to local needs has been a central pillar of the theoretical test development and validation model and has driven the evolving body of experience and good practice established through our collaboration with local stakeholders to deliver the English language testing solutions they need.

This panel will bring together key players in the introduction of Aptis from inside the British Council together with experts and test users access East Asia to describe local experiences of implementing some of the innovations in Aptis.


See also