ALTE's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are an important part of the life of the association as they pursue important issues connected with language testing. ALTE has two types of SIGs, Project Groups and Discussion Groups. These meet face-to-face as part of biannual meetings, but also online as needed. They can be chaired by any individual from a Member organisation or an Individual Expert Member. Co-chairs can come from Institutional Affiliate organisations.

Project Groups

Project Groups have coordinators with a clear idea of what they want to achieve. Project Groups have a set purpose, which might be to create and publish a specific piece of documentation or set of materials, create a video, webpage, webinar or academic paper, or any other project that has a specific goal; an appropriate time limit, e.g.. to run for 2-3 years in order to complete a particular piece of work with no necessity to extend beyond this; and an appropriate cost limit, e.g. to accomplish the purpose using an appropriate amount of funds approved by ALTE’s Board of Trustees. This results in a very concrete, focused group, with a clear aim and under no obligation to continue indefinitely.

Before a project group starts, there should be a core number of individuals signed up to be committed. Project Groups should specify to what extent they would like conference participants attending their meetings: ideally, anybody at meetings should be welcomed but we recognise that there are certain groups that may need to be ‘closed’ because e.g. a high turnover of participants is not helpful to achieve their aims. Project Groups should have a coordinator/chair and ideally also a co-chair. They are responsible for creating a project plan as well as coordinating the work of the group. 

Discussion Groups

Discussion Groups, or Input Groups, are one-off meetings, where an individual (or two) within the association puts forward a topic for discussion. It is a forum for all members and affiliates to learn, be trained, share and collaborate.

A discussion group is likely to take place on one occasion only, probably at the same time as a SIG (i.e. the Thursday of a biannual conference/meeting), or alternatively online or at another specified time and location. The individual acts as the group coordinator and manages the input and discussion. Specific output may result in a follow-up discussion group or even project group, but does not have to. These sessions are an opportunity to engage in practical issues affecting members and share research and good practice in one area.

Current SIGs as of February 2020 are as follows. New Project Groups and Discussion Groups will be set up from summer 2020 onwards.


QMS arbetsgrupp har av ALTE medlemmarfått i uppgift att gå igenom och revidera all granskningsdokumentation. "Quality Management Systems" gruppen har ett nära samarbete med "Standing Committee", och gruppens agenda sätts vanligen ihop av "Standing Committee".


"Language Assessment for Migration and Integration" SIG arbetar för närvarande med hjälpmedel, ett "Council of Europe" initiativ, för att stödja frivilliga lärare som undervisar migranter och ge dem litteracitetsdeskriptorer att använda i sitt arbete.


The CEFR SIG has developed two different grids for the analysis of sample performances and tasks, and is currently researching the use of the CEFR in the employment sector.


The Special Requirements and Circumstances SIG is gathering information on how and to what extent accomodations for candidates with special requirements can be granted in order to ensure fairness and barrier-free access to tests.


"Language for Specific Purposes" SIG håller för närvarande på med att utveckla en LSP bilaga till "Manual for Language Test Development and Examining". Ett nytt projekt är på gång som kommer att illustrera hur bilagan fungerar i processen av att verkligen konstruera ett LSP prov.


Den här gruppen träffas oregelbundet vid ALTE evenemangoch vill gärna ha förslag på ämnen och det finns möjlighet att ge presentationer. Alla medlemmar eller "affiliate" med ett intresse inom detta område är välkomna att delta.

Teacher Training

The group meets once a year at the ALTE winter conferences. Any member or affiliate with an interest in the area is welcome to attend. The last two meetings have been held jointly with the LAMI SIG, looking at teachers' needs in the context of migration and integration. 

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