Indigenizing English Placement Assessment (E/SI)

April 30, 2024 15:45 - 16:45 Glen Rm 208-209View map

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation’s Educational Calls for Action, we advocate for the development of a national Indigenized English placement assessment tool to provide a more inclusive, equitable transition for Indigenous students entering post-secondary educational institutions in Canada.Canadian post-secondary institutions have been decolonizing curriculum, teaching materials, student support services, and administrative processes. However, English placement assessment, often used for admissions, has been left out of these initiatives. We want to remedy that. Additionally, an Indigenized English placement assessment can respond to updated K-to-12 Language Arts curriculum across Canada, which is integrating more Indigenized learning outcomes and Indigenous-specific content. Many secondary students, who are more knowledgeable of Indigenous history, culture and languages are entering post-secondary institutions—yet, many English placement assessment tools do not reflect or engage with this knowledge.

Sharing the best practices of Camosun College’s Indigenized English assessment process, we will explore what an English placement assessment tool looks like by using an Indigenous lens, and these questions:

  • What does an Indigenized English placement assessment mean to you?
  • What elements or features would you want to see in an Indigenized English placement assessment?
  • What would best support the development of an Indigenized English placement assessment?

This session will explore how Indigenous worldviews can inform, re-form and transform a standardized English placement assessment tool for post-secondary institutions in Canada, and to seek Indigenous educators, experts, Elders, and students, and institutions as partners for the creation and implementation of this tool. (Eight institutions in Canada are currently supporting this initiative).

Stream: Strengthening Indigenous Education

The right of Indigenous peoples to education is protected by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples along with other international human rights instruments including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This stream will focus on best practices and solutions to improve the access to higher education and ensure the retention and success of Indigenous learners at colleges and institutes and in the labour market.


Maureen Niwa
English Placement Counsellor, Assessment & Testing Center | Camosun College
Wendy McDonald
Indigenous Faculty, former Indigenous Advisor, Saanich Adult Education | Camosun College

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