International schools face a unique set of challenges when it comes to assessment. Not only do they operate in incredibly diverse educational and cultural contexts but they also cater to large numbers of children for whom English is not their first language. As much traditional assessment relies on verbal skills, this can be a problem.
The evidence from the UK and elsewhere is that any disadvantage EAL students may have in a curriculum delivered in English is soon nullified if their needs and potential are accurately identified. Indeed, in the UK, gaps in attainment are generally diminished by the time students take GCSEs. Elsewhere in this report we outline what steps teachers and schools can take to overcome any obstacles EAL students face.