This practical research project, commissioned by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK), grants interested Swiss schools access to the internationally recognised certificate Deutsch for Jugendliche ZD j (German for young people/teenagers, level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). The main task lies in informing and advising schools as well as in arranging license agreements for them. In addition, any student who is interested and willing may voluntarily take the test. To uphold high quality standards in testing, the project chose to create a minimal structure (the assessment agency ZD j). The experiences made with the German certificate for young people can now be used to probe its applicability to other foreign languages taught at public schools in Switzerland (French, Italian and English).
The pilot project was able to build and expand on many years of experience from a joint, three-nation project by the EDK concerning testing German as a foreign language. In addition, the project engendered synergies between other current Swiss projects on assessing ability in foreign languages (especially lingualevel and ESP II) – and it has been developed in accordance with the foreign language section of the EDK project HarmoS.
Continuation of the assessment agency ZD j in 2009