What is happiness?
Ponder that for a minute, while you read what the Assessment Department has been up to recently. We just spent the last two weeks calibrating! In a calibration session 1 assessor group meets for an hour, to discuss phone call procedures, to score the recording of a candidate, and to reach the same conclusion about the recorded candidate’s speaking ability. This is to ensure that our team members all assess the Eucom way, so we can offer the fairest test.
Imagine, if a candidate is tested today or is tested tomorrow, she should receive the same score. Imagine a candidate is tested over the phone or over video, again, she should receive the same score. The same applies to place, or to any variable, including who assesses the candidate. The only thing that should count is the language skill itself. When a test gives the same candidate the same score every time, then the CEFR calls this “Strong Testing Reliability.” Clearly, our mission.
Some fun stats: Eucom hosted a total of 12 sessions over 6 days, including 2 follow-up sessions. 8 of those were language-specific, meaning everyone in the session assesses the same language (French, German, Greek, for example). While 3 sessions centered around either an English or Romanian recording. This was for our rare language assessors—often working solo in the language—so they could participate in a meaningful conversation with their colleagues. All together, 37 assessors (and 1 cat!) united in this effort to offer the fairest, fastest, friendliest test on this side of the Atlantic.
For all you interested in assessing, let us conclude with one of the many great tips the teams shared over the calibration: “A great question to ask is one that is simple enough for A1, yet complex enough for C2 speakers. Ask them: What is happiness? And then, just listen.”
By Ivan Brave