ALTE's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are an important part of the life of the association as they pursue important issues connected with language testing. ALTE has two types of SIGs, Project Groups and Discussion Groups. These meet face-to-face as part of biannual meetings, but also online as needed. They can be chaired by any individual from a Member organisation or an Individual Expert Member. Co-chairs can come from Institutional Affiliate organisations.
Project Groups have coordinators with a clear idea of what they want to achieve. Project Groups have a set purpose, which might be to create and publish a specific piece of documentation or set of materials, create a video, webpage, webinar or academic paper, or any other project that has a specific goal; an appropriate time limit, e.g.. to run for 2-3 years in order to complete a particular piece of work with no necessity to extend beyond this; and an appropriate cost limit, e.g. to accomplish the purpose using an appropriate amount of funds approved by ALTE’s Board of Trustees. This results in a very concrete, focused group, with a clear aim and under no obligation to continue indefinitely.
Discussion Groups, or Input Groups, are one-off meetings, where an individual (or two) within the association puts forward a topic for discussion. It is a forum for all members and affiliates to learn, be trained, share and collaborate.
A discussion group is likely to take place on one occasion only, probably at the same time as a SIG (i.e. the Thursday of a biannual conference/meeting), or alternatively online or at another specified time and location. The individual acts as the group coordinator and manages the input and discussion. Specific output may result in a follow-up discussion group or even project group, but does not have to. These sessions are an opportunity to engage in practical issues affecting members and share research and good practice in one area.
Current SIGs as of February 2020 are as follows. New Project Groups and Discussion Groups will be set up from summer 2020 onwards.
Grupul se întâlnește ad hoc la evenimentele ALTE, în funcție de punerea în discuție a unor subiecte sau de disponibilitatea unor prezentări. Orice membru sau afiliat interesat de acest domeniu poate participa la lucrările grupului.
The group meets once a year at the ALTE winter conferences. Any member or affiliate with an interest in the area is welcome to attend. The last two meetings have been held jointly with the LAMI SIG, looking at teachers' needs in the context of migration and integration.