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A New Wave of English Language Exams on your Campus - IELTS 2011 NCTA Annual Conference San Diego, CA.

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Presentation on theme: "A New Wave of English Language Exams on your Campus - IELTS 2011 NCTA Annual Conference San Diego, CA."— Presentation transcript:

1 A New Wave of English Language Exams on your Campus - IELTS NCTA Annual Conference San Diego, CA

2 University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ Aubree Gold
Akiko Aharonian Testing Office University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ Aubree Gold ELS San Diego, San Diego, CA Talk about Nuts and Bolts of IELTS in a college setting IELTS is an English language proficiency test just like TOEFL More known and used in Europe and Oceania, not as popular as TOEFL in this country. The candidature is growing and the demand is getting higher IELTS has presented 3 times at NCTA sessions, but usually got the bad spot and couldn’t get enough participants. Finally we got a good spot to talk to a wider audience!!! ELS is a main partner and they have an office on campus of many universities Aubree is in charge of an ELS IELTS test center NCTA centers and non-ELS centers, only 7 schools offer IELTS; University of Arkansas Office of Testing Services CSU East Bay Testing Office Rutgers University Program in American Language Studies Drexel University English Language Center Austin Community College District Business Assessment Center Southern Methodist University International Center and The University of Arizona Testing Office. The goal of this presentation is to give basic ideas about IELTS, what the test is like, and also the about the test administration, how centers can manage the test administration in a college setting. Ask questions anytime, please! 2 3

3 Presentation Overview
What is IELTS? Why and how to become a IELTS test center? Test Administration in a college setting UA Testing Office and IELTS (Off-site testing) ELS San Diego and IELTS / San Diego State Univ. (Off-site testing with other existing IELTS test centers) Q & A

4 What is IELTS? Four skills test – Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking English as an international language 2 modules – Academic and General Training Pen and paper delivery, face to face Speaking test 3 international test partners – Cambridge ESOL, British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia 3 2

5 General Training Reading General Training Writing
Test Format Total time = 2 hours 55 minutes Listening 4 sections, 40 items (40 minutes) Academic Reading 3 sections, 40 items (60 minutes) General Training Reading 3 sections, 40 items (60 minutes) Academic Writing 2 tasks (60 minutes) General Training Writing 2 tasks (60 minutes) Speaking 1:1 oral interview (11-14 minutes) 24

6 3 Extremely Limited User 2 Intermittent User 1 Non User
Scoring 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 0 Did Not Attempt the Test

7 Recognition Over 6,000 organizations globally in 135 countries
3,000 US institutions and programs Test Report Form Verification site Electronic score downloads

8 Candidature over 1,4 million candidates tested globally in 2010
US candidature: students applying for graduate and undergraduate study in the US, Britain, Canada and Australia applicants for immigration to Canada and Australia healthcare professionals applying to work in US hospitals and for US permanent residency

9 Test centers Test locations in 135 countries
Currently 39 US anchor test centers operating 61 test locations

10 Why become a test center?
Develop a new income stream - testing at your center and off-site Provide professional development opportunities to campus staff Open new markets - attract new students to your campus – offer wrap-around products Provide a service to your students and the community IELTS can raise a lot more revenue than other English tests since the administration is in house. Testing can be in a way “portable”, possible off-campus and hold as many candidates as centers can accommodate. One advantage of Paper-Based Test. IELTS can provide internal job offers to faculty members or students on campus. Professors, Lecturer and Instructors can become an IELTS examiner as long as they pass the certification exams. Also graduate students or undergraduate students can work as an assistant, a clerical marker for Listening and Reading, and a proctor. Some students prefer IELTS to TOEFL. Asian students test to like TOEFL more, but students from the middle east seem to think IELTS is their first choice of an English language exam. For international students admission requirements, such as their English Proficiency requirement, are key to choose their school to study. IELTS can appeal to a certain market and they are likely to consider apply for schools that accept IELTS as well as TOEFL. Professionals need IELTS for their immigration purposes, and locals in your city can get benefit from IELTS. Obviously for an ESL department where international students receive a language training to apply for an undergrad or grad programs on campus, can use IELTS to support their students’ admission process in a better way. They teach English, students can improve their English and take IELTS on campus, them they can apply for a degree-program.

11 Application Process Application form and Web Requirement Guide
Business case questionnaire Site visit Center access / Security & Storage / Staff / Test Equipments / Testing rooms / Marketing Service Agreement Please see a handout, Information for Prospective IELTS Test Centers in the USA 2011. It explains what is expected for a prospective IELTS test center, and how to become a center. IELTS has all the necessary documents for you to fill out. (It’s estimated 2 hrs to complete all the forms.) A computer requirement is for the main data base, IELTS Web Administration System, and it is not complicated. Business case questionnaire to assess needs and plans you have for your city/ area and students on campus. Also to evaluate if you sustain the efficient test administration, fiscally and physically. An IELTS representative will inspect the venue and help new centers for adequate set-up and marketing strategies. Service agreement will be provided after the visit to get you started.

12 Set up Business plan including marketing plan
Where will the center be housed and managed? Provide office and storage space Computer with internet, printer, scanner Recruit IELTS Administrator Examiners (Speaking and Writing) from faculty and local schools Clerical Markers (Listening and Reading) Invigilators Free on site training for Administrator, Examiners, Clerical Markers, Invigilators Demand and Market How to assess the demand for IELTS in your city. How you can market your candidature? Reach out to colleges and universities in your city, county or state. Ask IELTS for marketing ideas and tool e.g Brandkit 2. Budget for the new program Is your center funded by the university or state, or self sustaining? Equipment 1. A computer with a minimum internet connection of 256KB or above, and Internet Explorer v.6.1 or above. A Scanner A Printer The initial investment is necessary for 2 major parts of the test operation Secure storage under double-tiered locking for test materials for 2 years. E.g. applications, test papers and interviews. test answer sheets and test report forms Materials for examiners and their training Training for new staff 1) Administrator and assistants 2) Proctors 3) Clerical markers 4) Examiners

13 Local test administration
Promoting testing services locally Processing and confirming candidate online registrations, including collection of fee Reserving test rooms to deliver paper based test and also for face to face Speaking tests Marking 4 test papers onsite and issuing results from center Providing candidate customer service Managing IELTS staff and materials Storing applications, test and related materials safely. Things we do not do for TOEFL or Pearson Test of English… First let departments and faculty members to know IELTS is available on campus. Make sure your school’s website mention IELTS for international students’ English language requirement. Work with an ESL department and inform their students, by presenting at an orientation or holding a workshop. Allow enough time to communicate with candidates to complete test registrations. Documents and a test fee collection can be time-consuming. Shouldn’t be a problem on campus, but need a few quiet rooms for the speaking interviews, and have to have a waiting room or area for candidates. Arrange grading sessions with clerical marker and examiners, providing them with a quite and secure room. Trying to get everything done for each deadline so that you can issue scores in time. Candidates review their results online, and receive a hard copy of their score report by mail. Centers are the face of IELTS. Personal services are a pro for IELTS. Scheduling staff for tests as well as marking or necessary training. Ordering test papers and supplies depending on your candidature forcast, and make sure to have sufficient materials for each test. 7. Besides test papers, answer sheet, centers need to keep all the interviews on CD and a hard drive.

14 Revenue Breakdown of income and costs / one candidate (FY1011)
Test fee collected from candidate: $185.00 Less fee remitted to IELTS International: $ Less estimated local costs testing one candidate: $ Estimated gross total per candidate tested: $ The test fee is fixed in the US, but can be more for off-site tests because centers will need to spend more expenses. e.g. meeting room rental, travel to the venue, per diem for staff and accommodation IELTS takes $80 per candidate. Local costs include, room-rental fees, overhead costs for examiners, clerical markers and proctors, postage or courier fees. This can be more or less depending on how centers set the administration to minimize the cost. With better business plan, the revenue from IELTS can increase.

15 Becoming an IELTS Center
Establishing a Service Agreement Between IELTS Inc. and your institution. This is a contractual document that will need to be reviewed and authorized by the Dean, Director or appropriate governing authority at your institution. Key obligations of the Service Agreement: Establish test dates and capacity Make all the necessary arrangements and meet all reasonable costs for IELTS test delivery and administration Register candidates and collect all test fees Service agreement is a document for your contracting department to review and legalize the IELTS test center establishment and the business relationship between IELTS and a center. Decide how often to hold tests and how you can prepare your center for that test volume. e.g staff and equipments Ensure a secure test center environment and administration for storing materials and grading tests in house. e.g. locking system, training and storage Make efforts to recruit as many candidates as possible, and collect fees and pay IELTS.

16 Becoming an IELTS Test Center
Key obligations of the Service Agreement: Provide all staffing for administration and delivery of the test (recruiting, hiring, training). Adhere to the IELTS Code of Practice with particular reference to the security arrangements Attend the mandatory IELTS Annual General Meeting held every 18 months for updates and training. Make sure to find and hire “right” people for each position. Clerical markers and examiners are not likely to be same people as they require different skills. For customer services, centers need those who are culturally competent to deal with issues. Double-tiered locking system, ensuring test materials’ safety, not leaving materials unattended or taking them outside of the center. e.g. grading and training must happen at the center. All IELTS staff members must sign Confidentiality Undertaking. Going to a meeting to get more information about updates on IELTS.

17 Staffing your IELTS Test Center
IELTS Administrator: designated staff person who oversees all facets of test delivery and staffing. Administrative Staff: personnel who register candidates, respond to inquiries, enter test scores, issue test results Clerical Markers: trained to grade the listening and reading answer sheets Proctors (Invigilators): if you have an existing proctor pool, they can be trained as IELTS invigilators Basic positions consisting the IELTS test administration In charge of all the aspects of the test, test security and delivery of the test, and is a main contact at the center with candidates and IELTS International. Deciding test dates and the test capacity, hiring and managing staff, holding training sessions and budgeting the expenses if necessary. Also informing and ensuring compliance of all the staff for IELTS. Process applications, complete test registration, entering test scores, issuing test report forms, and communicating with candidates for any inquiries or issues they have. People who mark Listening and Reading with an answer key. Need to be certified and monitored on a regular basis. People who proctor candidate in a written part, and a speaking part of the test. Need to be trained.

18 Staffing your IELTS Test Center
Examiners: experienced educators with a recognized qualification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Recruit from ESL/English Language Programs Application process includes review by Examiner Trainer and interview Induction: general overview of IELTS prior to training Training: 4 day intensive training program, center to provide copies of all training materials and meals Certification: assessment tool for the marking criteria People who know how to grade, not how to teach English only. TESOL certificate and at least 2 year’s of full-time ESL teaching experience for more than 1500 hours. Non-native speakers can apply, but they need to score 9 in writing and speaking of IELTS. They need to pass the certification test at the end to become an official examiner.

19 University of Arizona IELTS History at UA Testing Center
Marketing challenges (Location Disadvantage) Off-site strategy in Phoenix, Las Cruces and Salt Lake City Regional demand for test is still developing TOEFL versus IELTS TOEFL: Ready-made with a limitation for the test demand IELTS: DIY with a flexibility for test demand Off-Site Testing Extended services to Phoenix UA Testing Center offers iBT, ITP TOEFL besides IELTS for the international students. Works with Center for English as a Second Language where about 200 international students learn English for mainly academic purposes. Started administering in October, 2008. The monthly average in 2009 was 25. The challenge was marketing, not enough interest among students in Arizona. And the location Tucson was not the best. Then we decided to go into the Phoenix metro area…. Tried out an off-site test in Las Cruces and Salt Lake City, since New Mexico and Utah haven’t got a center yet. Started offering an off-site test in Phoenix in March 2010, and the candidature grew by 100%, and the monthly ave went up to 50. Currently we have 100 candidates every month for 2 tests in Tucson and Phoenix. The reason for the growth is the trend in international students coming to the US. Chinese students and other from the middle-east know IELTS, and take it often. TOEFL is completely taken care of ETS for candidate care, test registration and marketing. But the cons can be test equipments, and a capacity of each test because of the limited number of computers and test dates. From candidates’ point view, TOEFL doesn’t communicate with them promptly, and it takes longer to get appropriate help from ETS. IELTS is a DIY project, and takes some time to set things in motion. Especially examiner hiring and training, grading tests, and issuing results are additional tasks to any test centers. But once the center starts running, the test can accommodate as many students as centers wish, and it can be held in other cities to meet a higher demand among students. The best part of IELS is its personal candidate support which candidates can get right away. Aubree and I talk to or a number of candidates every day. Off-site testing will give you opportunities to collaborate with other institutions, and serve a wider population in your state, helping more students and professionals for their needs. In Phoenix, we work with ASU, in Las Cruces with UTEP and NMSU, in Salt Lake City with U of UT. It’s a new business strategy for testing, literally catering tests to meet a demand. Now Aubree is going to talk about her off-site test with SDSU. SDSU is not an IELTS test center, but established a partnership with ELS San Diego to offer IELTS on campus. If you’re interested in IELTS for your students, but can’t become a test center, this might be a great avenue for you to take.

20 ELS Language Centers Partnership with IELTS to be official Testing Center Established partnership in 2002 On/Off Campus locations 28 ELS/IELTS Testing Centers 10 off-site testing locations

21 San Diego State University
Off-Site Testing Agreement Offer IELTS exams 3-5 times per year on campus Reserve block of seats for ALI students Host enrollment sessions Provide testing services ALI - IELTS teachers take IELTS exams for experience

22 San Diego State University
Benefits Provide students with more testing options Increased convenience & comfort for ALI students Advertising SDSU-ALI to potential students

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