ELTiS: Meeting Rising English Language Standards

Location: Edison DABC
ELTiS, the test that has replaced SLEP for evaluating intending exchange students’ proficiency in English, is beginning its third year of operation. We bring you up to date on how CSIET and Ballard & Tighe are working together to meet the rising proficiency requirements and quality assurance needs of states, districts, and schools in the U.S. This includes proficiency level descriptors, enhanced score reports, and a sneak peek of the upcoming online version of the test.
Speaker: Dr. Sari Luoma, Ballard & Tighe
Dr. Sari Luoma is Vice President of Assessment Materials at Ballard & Tighe, Publishers. She joined the Ballard & Tighe assessment division in 2003. Prior to that, she held in positions related to test design, research and development at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.
Sari is responsible for the design and direction of Ballard & Tighe’s standardized testing initiatives and she also contributes to the design and development of the company’s instructional products.  In addition to test development, she has designed in-service training programs and taught courses on computer-assisted language assessment, test development, and the use of assessment in support of learning.  Her research interests in language testing include test validation, the assessment of speaking, and computer-assisted assessment.
Sari is a frequent speaker at conferences and author of several articles and chapters in edited volumes, as well as the book Assessing Speaking, published by Cambridge University Press (2004). She holds a Ph.D. in applied linguistics, and a M.A. and B.A. in language arts and education from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She lives in Aptos, Ca. with her husband and two daughters, Ronja and Eila.
Speaker: Melissa Cortez, Ballard & Tighe
Melissa Cortez is an Educational Consultant with Ballard & Tighe, Publishers. For more than 35 years, Ballard & Tighe has provided high-quality, industry-leading instructional and assessment materials specifically designed to meet the needs of English learners. With over five years of working closely with schools and districts throughout the United States and internationally, Ms. Cortez effectively provides customized solutions using Ballard & Tighe’s entire suite of products. Ms. Cortez ensures successful product investment by hosting comprehensive in-service training and continuous follow-up for her clients. She also represents the company at tradeshows and key conferences. Ms. Cortez is committed to the educational goals and needs of those she collaborates with and provides reliable products that generate results.
Moderator: Christopher Page, CSIET
Christopher Page is Executive Director for the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel. He accepted this position in January of 2011, after 21 years as a Spanish teacher, exchange program coordinator and tennis coach at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia.  He served on the CSIET Board of Directors from 2003-2009. Chief among his several duties as Executive Director, Chris advocates at the Federal, State and local levels for a variety of youth exchange initiatives, including student safety, public awareness and fair play on the athletic field.  As a steadfast supporter of youth exchange, Chris communicates regularly with exchange organizations both domestic and international, regarding visa trends, educational programming and industry Standards.  As true believer of the application of youth exchange as a means to Global Competence, Chris frequently represents CSIET at state education associations and boards, advocating for adoption of CSIET’s Model School Policy. Among his achievements, Chris has served as a Director of exchange programs at the secondary school level, where he rewrote policy, improved programming and lowered risk.   He has worked in translation, educational technology and earned many accolades as a Spanish teacher. During his teaching career he wrote Cuenta conmigo, a Spanish textbook to accompany Cuéntame cómo pasó, the #1 television series in Spain.  This innovative approach to language instruction has been embraced by schools in the US as well as Spain. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Economics from Hampden-Sydney College, a Master’s in Spanish Language and Culture from Middlebury College and a Global MBA from IE Business School (Madrid, Spain).   He lives in Alexandria, Va. with his wife Diana and his two children, Henry and Caroline.