Avant Assessment and Qatar Academy Form Partnership

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U.S.-based leader in language proficiency assessments will custom develop three Arabic tests for prestigious school.

Avant Assessment, a leading, U.S.-based global provider of multi-lingual language assessments, and the Qatar Academy, a prestigious International Baccalaureate World School located in Education City, Doha, Qatar, are excited to announce the formation of a groundbreaking partnership. Avant will custom develop three Arabic tests, funded by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a private, chartered, non-profit organization founded by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar.

Dr. Gregory A. Hedger, Director of Qatar Academy, reached out to Avant Assessment for help in meeting the Academy’s goal of teaching their Arabic mother tongue native speakers, who speak mostly English in daily conversation, a high level of proficiency in monolingual Arabic. Avant will create a series of tests for Qatar Academy, built to their standards around language arts and proficiency, and delivered for grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-10. The goal for the tests is that through their use, Qatar Academy will be able to:

  •     Identify individual students’ strengths and weaknesses.
  •     Identify cohorts’ strengths and weaknesses.
  •     Track individuals and cohorts over time.
  •     Involve enough schools/students that norms can be developed.
  •     Compare their participating schools’ achievement against that of others and track it over time.

Avant is set to deliver the tests to Qatar Academy in April of 2013.

“Qatar Academy is in a unique position in Qatar – and probably across the Middle East – because we recognize the significant role of Arabic language in order to truly provide the highest standard of education possible,” said Dr. Hedger. “In a learning community as diverse as ours, it is important to preserve and advance the Arabic language, and we aim to do that by incorporating learning opportunities for both our native and second language Arabic speakers in day-to-day classes, and by looking for ways to gauge how much our students have learned and how much more they can improve their Arabic literacy skills. Our partnership with Avant Assessment in the development of three new language proficiency tests will go a long way towards helping us meet these goals. As Qatar continues to gain international prominence in sports, education and even diplomatic affairs, Arabic will become an increasingly important language to learn. Our school takes pride in using it not only as a valuable tool in learning but as a way to preserve our country’s heritage.”

“Avant Assessment has been an international company for years in the sense that many of our employees are natives of countries other than the U.S. and we contract with people around the world to provide authentic material for our language tests,” said Mike Patterson, President and CEO of Avant Assessment. “Our partnership with Qatar Academy establishes Avant as a global company. We have built language proficiency tests in over 40 languages including Arabic and other languages native to the Middle East. Historically, Avant has been dedicated to the promotion of language acquisition. It is an honor to partner with Qatar Academy to now participate in the preservation and advancement of the Arabic language. With Qatar Academy’s focus on preserving and promoting cultural heritage across the Middle East, the use of appropriate tools for language learning and assessment is critical. The development of these tests will support the learning goals across the entire region as they are going to be available to all educational institutions.”

About Avant Assessment
A leader in multi-lingual language proficiency assessments, Avant provides research-based assessments for World Languages and English in reading, writing, listening and speaking. With expertise in linguistics, assessment, technology and education at their foundation, Avant's solutions build student and teacher confidence in real-world learning and deliver accurate standards-based data to inform the learning process, so that every student can be ready to thrive in a diverse world. To learn more about Avant Assessment, please visit http://www.avantassessment.com.

About Qatar Academy
Qatar Academy (QA) is one of the Middle East’s premier educational institutions. QA is an International Baccalaureate World School also accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools. The school offers academic excellence through Primary, Middle Year and IB Diploma programs based on the principle that education involves the development of a student’s cognitive, physical, social, moral and affective capabilities. It is the mission of Qatar Academy (QA) to provide internationally accepted, comprehensive, English medium programs plus Arabic and Islamic studies from preschool through to secondary graduation. QA develops independent critical thinkers, lifelong learners, responsible citizens, and empowers students to gain entrance to elite universities and colleges. To learn more about Qatar Academy, please visit http://www.qa.edu.qa.

For more information, U.S. press only, contact:
Mary Beth Saddoris, 888-718-7887, marybeth(dot)saddoris(at)avantassessment(dot)com

For more information, Middle East press only, contact:
Tammy L. MacNeil, +974 4454 1883, tmacneil(at)qf(dot)org(dot)qa

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Mary Beth Saddoris
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