‘Living’ English resource to set new standards

13 November 2006

A new multimedia DVD is to help universities, professional bodies and employers tighten up on recruitment by showing what different levels of performance in a major English language test actually look and sound like.

The International English Language Testing System, IELTS, is used by more than half a million people around the world every year to access opportunities in careers, study and migration. The test is run by an international partnership of the British Council, IDP Education Australia and Cambridge English and is used by thousands of universities and colleges, government agencies, professional organisations and employers to make life-changing decisions on the suitability of applicants.

Released on Monday November 13, IELTS Scores Explained is a unique resource that will support decision makers, helping them to better identify how each of the nine IELTS bands translate into real ability to deal with different levels of work and study in an English-speaking environment.

A new multimedia DVD is to help universities, professional bodies and employers tighten up on recruitment by showing what different levels of performance in a major English language test actually look and sound like.

Nick Charge, IELTS Subject Manager, said: "Historically, many organisations have been setting IELTS score requirements by simply referring to what their peers have been asking for, or sometimes just with a hunch, a feeling for the correct standard needed.

"The DVD will help dispel some myths. Often people have a notion of what people with a particular score are capable of doing, when it's not always very accurate. The resource will encourage more careful thought and re-evaluation of required scores.

"As a result, universities can ensure they are admitting students with the appropriate level of English skills to embark on high-level study, and IELTS candidates themselves can be assured they won't be put into situations they can't deal with."

IELTS Scores Explained includes numerous samples of Writing and Speaking performances from candidates as well as sections of Listening and Reading tests to inform IELTS users, as well as an introduction to the test, and advice on the standard setting process.

The resource is also expected to be used by English language teachers worldwide to improve their understanding of the levels which their candidates need to reach.

Copies of IELTS Scores Explained is available from www.ielts.org, priced at £15 (GBP).