Gujarat gaining the business edge through English provision

09 November 2007

Cambridge English has developed a new test called the Gujarat English Language Test, to assess ability related to the lower range of levels set out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

As the economic boom in India continues, competition increases for a share of international investment. English is widely seen as the international language of business, and it is more and more important for companies' employees in India to have language skills to ensure they are competitive in the international market. Many students and professionals in India have good technical skills but lack the relevant level of English language and struggle in the job market.

In response to this need for improved English, the state government in Gujarat has established an initiative to raise the level of English among students and the workforce. The Society for the Creation of Opportunities through Proficiency in English (SCOPE) is a specially formed body and is working with Cambridge English on the project. Cambridge English has developed a new test for SCOPE, called the Gujarat English Language Test, to assess ability related to the lower range of levels set out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The CEFR aims to clearly set out levels of proficiency for language learners and are widely understood and recognised by international employers.

Tests are being subsidised by the Gujarat state government and are available to all members of the public. The first tests took place in October and results were encouraging. Almost 50% of the candidates reached the highest CEFR level within the range available on the test. Learning centres have been set up across the state to give people access to the courses.

There will also be opportunity to take a higher level qualification on completing the course, the Cambridge English Business Language Testing Service (BULATS).