Half a century of English language assessment in Hong Kong


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This paper presents a personal picture of my long-standing association with the English language teaching and assessment situation in Hong Kong. The paper presents a 50-year retrospective of assessment in Hong Kong, through the lens of my own 35-year stint in the territory and my personal experience of English language teaching, teacher education, and assessment. I present a historical and theoretical picture of how English language examinations have moved forward in Hong Kong, and how I was fortunate enough to be involved in the big changes which were taking place in English language assessment in particular. While the picture I portray through this paper is a rather personal one, it contributes to an understanding of how assessment reform has been forward-looking, and largely successful, in Hong Kong, painting a picture of how assessment development has complemented curriculum development. I suggest that it may be instructive for educators in other jurisdictions to consider the long-term picture of development in English language assessment reform in their own country with a view to analyzing their own perspectives concerning the relative success of policy changes and large-scale reforms. Copyright © 2015 Brunei Darussalam : Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education, Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Education
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Coniam, D. (2015). Half a century of English language assessment in Hong Kong. Journal of Applied Research in Education, 19, 1-14.


  • Assessment
  • English language
  • Hong Kong
  • Retrospective


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