SOURCE: Avant Assessment

November 15, 2007 09:00 ET

Language Learning Solutions Rebrands as Avant Assessment

Leader in Web-Based Language Assessment Positions for Growth in Key Markets

EUGENE, OR and SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - November 15, 2007) - Language Learning Solutions today unveiled a new corporate name, Avant Assessment, and brand identity. The move is part of a broader strategy to position itself for growth in the burgeoning language assessment field. Avant designs, develops, delivers, scores and reports Web-based language assessments for the diverse needs of education, business and government. The announcement was made at the 2007 ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in San Antonio, Texas, where the company is exhibiting at booth no. 455.

"Our new name -- Avant Assessment -- communicates our leadership and our continued focus on bringing innovation to the field of language assessment," said David Bong, CEO of Avant Assessment. "We also believe the new company identity fits well with our current, well-known products like the STAMP test, and provides a solid base for future offerings as we pursue new markets and opportunities."

Established in 2001, Avant has rapidly emerged at the forefront of the language assessment field by combining proprietary technology with expertise in assessment design and linguistics. The company's innovative Web-based, computer-adaptive approach to language assessment reduces test administration times and related costs, improves test reliability, provides faster reporting, and delivers more comprehensive test data.

"Avant was formed to address the lack of objective, accurate and affordable language assessment tools in the market," Bong said. "While other testing companies continue to focus on 'paper and pencil' methods of assessment, our goal is to make language assessment widely accessible, realistic and affordable by leveraging our core competencies in technology, test design and linguistics."

Avant's rebranding follows a comprehensive process that included competitive analyses and market surveys to identify customer perceptions and needs. The work yielded valuable insights leading Avant to focus its new identity on its unique market position as an innovator. This theme is further underscored in the company's new tag line -- "Test With Confidence."

Leadership in Education

Avant offers an array of online evaluation tools for the education market including the widely used STAMP (STAndards-based Measure of Proficiency), ClassPak and Oregon ELPA (English Language Proficiency Assessment). The Oregon ELPA, developed with the Oregon Department of Education, is the only Web-based English proficiency test of reading, writing, listening and speaking administered in U.S. schools to provide data to fulfill No Child Left Behind reporting requirements.

To date, Avant has delivered Web-based language assessments to school districts, private schools and institutions of higher learning in 37 states. The company has partnered with eight state departments of education to deliver Web-based language assessment. Avant also provides the STAMP Test to DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) schools around the world.

Growth Opportunities

"The private and public sectors today face acute language-related challenges due to the globalization of commerce, increased immigration and geopolitical considerations," said Brett Laquercia, vice president of business development and communications for Avant Assessment. "These factors are creating a tremendous need for a language-enabled workforce and qualified interpreters and translators across a range of fields. Avant's core competencies allow us to provide more valid, reliable and efficiently delivered language assessments for diverse markets and customers."

In addition to the education market, Avant soon will address the healthcare industry's needs with MITI (Medical Interpreters Test on the Internet), an online performance-based language assessment being developed in partnership with Fluency, Inc., that will ensure qualified interpreters are assisting patients and doctors in hospitals.

About Avant Assessment

Avant Assessment (www.avantassessment.com) was founded in 2001 in Eugene, Ore., as Language Learning Solutions. The company is the recognized leader in the Web-based language assessment field. Avant designs, develops, delivers, scores and reports four-skills, Web-based language assessments to meet the diverse needs of education, business and government. The company has an academic research partnership with the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS), a National Foreign Language Resource Center, at the University of Oregon and also works closely with other partners to deliver a suite of online assessment tools for diverse fields.

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