Presentation on theme: "English language requirements in immigration Focus on IELTS"— Presentation transcript:
1 English language requirements in immigration Focus on IELTS UKNARIC Annual Conference 2009
2 AimsTo give staff working with English language assessment an understanding of:PBS & English language requirements in Tier 4What makes IELTS a proven, fit-for-purpose high quality assessment of English language abilityAssessing English language abilityIELTS format, content and scoresTest Report Form (TRF) Verification Service
3 The importance of language skills English language proficiency – a necessary standardRequired by:EmployersProfessional registration bodiesEducation institutionsIncorporated into the Points Based System (PBS)
4 What is IELTS? The ‘International English Language Testing System’ Jointly managed by 3 partners:Experts in language testing internationally20th anniversary!
5 What does IELTS do?“Designed to assess the English language ability of people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication”Test of communicative proficiency in EnglishOriginal 4 skills test covering:ListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
12 Globally accessible and convenient Tests administered at centres and venues worldwideUp to 48 test dates per year (4 per month)Results released 13 days after testTRF can be sent directly to receiving organisations
13 Question Paper Production 3 – 4 years to develop one item (question) - rigorous standards appliedItem writers in Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA and now CanadaContent sourced globallyTopics or language context which may introduce a bias against any group are avoided
14 General Training Reading General Training Writing Test FormatListening30 minutes, 4 sections, 40 itemsGeneral Training Reading60 minutes, 3 sections, 40 itemsAcademic ReadingGeneral Training Writing60 minutes, 2 tasksAcademic WritingSpeakingminutes, 3 parts
15 Tier 4 and English language PBSTier 4 and English language
16 Tier 4 – sponsors roleTier 4 sponsors = licensed educational institutionsSponsor assesses student qualificationsNo English language requirement by UKBAEnglish language ability should be considered by sponsor when assessing qualificationsSatisfactory qualifications = sponsor issues Confirmation of Acceptance for Study or Visa LetterUnconditional offer for place on a course
17 Tier 4 – students roleStudent sends UKBA their visa application including:Photos, passport, identity card (if applicable) etcProof of the availability of maintenance fundsCAS reference number or visa letter (unconditional offer)Original certificates (or transcripts of results) of qualifications assessed by the sponsor in order to assign CAS / issue visa letter - includes proof of English language ability if assessed by sponsor
18 Let’s discussWhen assessing student qualifications for Tier 4, how do you assess their English language ability?How important is English ability to their success at your institution?What do your students need to be able to do in English / what activities do they need to be involved in?
19 How does English ability relate to an IELTS Score? 9 band scores:9 – expert user8 – very good user7 – good user6 – competent user5 – modest user4 – limited user3 – extremely limited user2 – intermittent user1 – non user
20 Mini assessment!We will watch three short clips of candidates at three different IELTS levelsDiscuss:What impressed you in terms of their ability?What do you think limited their ability?What IELTS score do you think they are?
22 Your thoughtsThink again about what your students need to be able to do in English / what activities do they need to be involved in.Discuss:What’s a realistic score to set?How do your think these candidates would cope at your institution and what type of course would suit them best?Have the clips made you reassess your English language requirements?
23 Ensuring you are assessing genuine qualifications IELTS Test Report Form Verification service
24 On-line TRF Verification Service Log in at and click on TRF Query