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English language requirements in immigration Focus on IELTS

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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 Aims To give staff working with English language assessment an understanding of: PBS & English language requirements in Tier 4 What makes IELTS a proven, fit-for-purpose high quality assessment of English language ability Assessing English language ability IELTS format, content and scores Test Report Form (TRF) Verification Service

3 The importance of language skills
English language proficiency – a necessary standard Required by: Employers Professional registration bodies Education institutions Incorporated 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 internationally 20th 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 English Original 4 skills test covering: Listening Reading Writing Speaking

6 The increasing popularity of IELTS

7 Candidate top destinations 2008

8 Proven track record Tried, tested and proven for over 20 years
Over 6000 recognising organisations worldwide

9 Comprehensively researched
Research and Validation Unit: Maintaining quality Continuity and innovation Ongoing research programmes

10 Successful communication involves interaction

11 Face-to-face speaking test

12 Globally accessible and convenient
Tests administered at centres and venues worldwide Up to 48 test dates per year (4 per month) Results released 13 days after test TRF can be sent directly to receiving organisations

13 Question Paper Production
3 – 4 years to develop one item (question) - rigorous standards applied Item writers in Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA and now Canada Content sourced globally Topics or language context which may introduce a bias against any group are avoided

14 General Training Reading General Training Writing
Test Format Listening 30 minutes, 4 sections, 40 items General Training Reading 60 minutes, 3 sections, 40 items Academic Reading General Training Writing 60 minutes, 2 tasks Academic Writing Speaking minutes, 3 parts

15 Tier 4 and English language
PBS Tier 4 and English language

16 Tier 4 – sponsors role Tier 4 sponsors = licensed educational institutions Sponsor assesses student qualifications No English language requirement by UKBA English language ability should be considered by sponsor when assessing qualifications Satisfactory qualifications = sponsor issues Confirmation of Acceptance for Study or Visa Letter Unconditional offer for place on a course

17 Tier 4 – students role Student sends UKBA their visa application including: Photos, passport, identity card (if applicable) etc Proof of the availability of maintenance funds CAS 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 discuss When 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 user 8 – very good user 7 – good user 6 – competent user 5 – modest user 4 – limited user 3 – extremely limited user 2 – intermittent user 1 – non user

20 Mini assessment! We will watch three short clips of candidates at three different IELTS levels Discuss: What impressed you in terms of their ability? What do you think limited their ability? What IELTS score do you think they are?

21 IELTS Band Score Quiz 6.5 5 4.5 Reveal

22 Your thoughts Think 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

25 Enter the TRF number

26 A match is found

27 No match found

28 Test Report Form (TRF) What security features of a TRF do you know about and look for?

29 Contact us
Carly Moulding – IELTS Stakeholder Relations Manager Chris Chivers – IELTS Client Relations Officer

30 Thank you!

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