ALTE: Association of Language Testers in Europe
As international barriers break down between European states, and global migration increases, the multilingual society is now a reality for many countries around the world. This has, in turn, led to the growth of language teaching and assessment, and the imperative that such assessment is fair, accurate and supports the ambitions of both individuals and of the societies in which they live and work. This is crucial because multilingualism, although offering many benefits, can also cause tensions in both societal and political systems, and can threaten the survival of smaller languages, placing their speakers at a disadvantage – even in their own country.
Recognising the need for a coherent approach to language testing, ALTE was established in 1989 by the Universities of Cambridge and Salamanca. The initial aim was to establish common standards for language testing across Europe, thereby supporting multilingualism and helping preserve the rich linguistic heritage of Europe. It was also vital that individual test takers gained a language qualification that was a fair and accurate assessment of their linguistic ability, one which was recognised around the world, and which could be accurately compared to qualifications in other languages.
ALTE now has 34 members, including some of the world's leading language assessment bodies, and 40 institutional affiliates as well as several hundred individual affiliates.