In 2012, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the largest board of education for state sector schools in India, partnered with Trinity to introduce the ASL exam in India. This initiative included a comprehensive teacher training programme to provide teachers with the tools to use speaking and listening activities in very large classrooms. It marked an ambitious refocusing of English language learning goals and assessment methods in India as part of a larger strategy to boost graduate employability by improving students’ English communication skills.
At the end of the project an impact study was completed focusing on the effect of the project on teachers and students. The study found that the project resulted in English classes that were student-centred and inclusive, focusing on all-class participation, interaction and discussion. Importantly, the effects of the teacher training were sustained over time, have permeated the teaching curriculum, and have influenced teaching methodology in a way that leaves a positive legacy.
This project has confirmed for Trinity that by introducing such ambitious programmes, in partnership with experts in assessment, one can predict and control washback in the classroom, not just in mainstream schools in urban areas with greater exposure to English, but also in special needs schools and schools in more rural areas.