Assessment having washback effect on teaching, improving students' ability to use English and enhancing internationalisation

Challenges of English Teaching:  

  • Students' command of English differs. Graded teaching needs to be employed to improve their language ability.
  • The existing standardised English test could not test students' actual ability, or track the teaching effectiveness.
  • A better English assessment system is needed to support teaching tailored to different students and to improve their ability to communicate internationally. 

 Reform of English Education:

  • Stratifying students through comprehensive testing

Aptis is employed to test students' skills including listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Students are then stratified based on the CEFR results, which reflect their actual ability.

  • Tailored classes for graded teaching

Tailored IELTS classes are introduced with different paces according to the English level of the students (six credits in three semesters), which helps the students maintain their strengths while improving in their weaker areas.

English experts from the British Council assess the teachers' teaching skills and provide trainings accordingly.

  • Phased tests having washback impact on teaching

Aptis is employed again to test the teaching effectiveness of the previous phase. The dynamic data on test results have washback impact on teaching.

The CEFR results could predict students' IELTS scores, and those who reach the requirement for international exchange are given the chance to take IELTS for free.


  • Students' ability to use English improves greatly, a solid foundation for internationalisation

Students in the Southeast University reach higher average scores in each section of the IELTS test, compared to the average among all test-takers in China. The IELTS test results of the university's students rank eighth among all "Project 211 Universities" in China.

IELTS Academic Overall Reading Listening Writing Speaking
Average score of all test-takers in China 5.64 6.01 5.79 5.24 5.28
Average score of students in the Southeast University 6.17 6.84 6.39 5.60 5.56

Participation in international exchange programs, language contests and summer schools in Chien-Shiung Wu College is increasing. The number of students who participate in international exchange programs double each year since the reform.