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University of






"I am fluent and precise in my

speaking and understanding of


7.0 /





"Although I speak and understand

English very well, I still have some
problems with unfamiliar situations
and vocabulary"


6.0/6.5 CAE




"I can communicate reasonably

effectively but do not always
understand what people say"


5.0/5.5 FCE




"I can speak and understand what

people say in familiar situations but I
have problems with complex grammar
and vocabulary"


4.0/4.5 PET




"I can communicate simply when I am

in familiar, everyday situations"

A2 / B1

3.0/3.5 KET


Below 40


"I can talk a little and understand

people if they speak slowly and



Course Guide

A Virtual Reality environment where you can learn and have fun at the same time.

Your English level

In this section >>>

Introduction to levels








Introduction to levels
At Embassy CES you will study in a class with other students who are at the same level of English as you.
On your first day at school, you will be given a test in grammar, writing, listening and speaking (don't
worry: it's quite informal!) and you will join your class the next day.
Then you will move up, in consultation with your teacher and the Director of Studies, as you make

If you are not sure what level you are now, have a look at the descriptions below. Of course, it's quite
possible to be (for example) one level in your grammar and writing, and quite another in your fluency or
listening. If that is the case, you will be put in a class that helps you concentrate on the areas that need it
In our schools, the levels go from Beginner to Proficient. Each level is roughly equivalent to an IELTS,
TOEFL, TOEIC or Cambridge Examinations score, which you can also see below.
Why not test your English with our online test *? The five levels are roughly equivalent to Elementary
to Advanced, so for example if you reach level three, you are around the Intermediate level.
*This link will open in a pop-up. Please ensure you do not have your pop-up blocker on.


7: Proficient
Proficiency is the highest level we recognise.
Your ability: You are fluent and rarely encounter English which you do not understand. However, it is
always possible to improve by increasing your understanding of the nuances of the English language and by
developing your vocabulary further.
Equivalent to:

IELTS score 7.5+

TOEFL iBT score 105

TOEIC score 900

Cambridge CPE
You can:

Study on any course up to and including Postgraduate level at an English-speaking university

Work at an advanced level in an English-speaking environment

Embassy CES courses you can take at this level:

All courses


6: Advanced
Advanced is the highest level most students attain without the total immersion of living in another country.
Your ability: Your spoken English is both fluent and accurate. Your vocabulary is wide and you have a good
knowledge of collocation, phrasal verbs, colloquial expressions and idioms. All common areas of grammar
are familiar to you.
Equivalent to:

IELTS score 6.7 - 7.5

TOEFL iBT score 93

TOEIC score 800 - 900

Cambridge CAE
You can:

Study on any degree or diploma-level course at an English-speaking university

Work in an English-speaking environment

Embassy CES courses you can take at this level:

All courses mentioned in the levels below, and:

CPE Examination Preparation


5: Upper-Intermediate
If you are at Upper-Intermediate level, you have an effective, but not perfect, use of English.
Your ability: You can talk almost fluently and almost completely accurately. Everyday situations in an
English-language environment do not worry you. You can take part in extended conversations or
discussions and your vocabulary covers almost every circumstance. If you do not know a word you can
almost always find a way of describing it. You have a knowledge of some idiomatic English, phrasal verbs,
and colloquial expressions. You have studied all main areas of English grammar.
Equivalent to:

IELTS score 5.5 - 6.5

TOEFL iBT score 80

TOEIC score 650 - 800

Cambridge FCE
You can:

Study on some degree or diploma-level courses at an English-speaking university

Work on an internship in an English-speaking environment

Embassy CES courses you can take at this level:

All courses mentioned in the levels below, and:



CAE Examination preparation


4: Intermediate
If you are at Intermediate level, you understand and speak English with some confidence.
Your ability: You have the grammar and the vocabulary to talk and read about a wide number of subjects.
You have some understanding of tone and style. You can assess and consciously improve your own
pronunciation. You have studied all the main tenses and can confidently make sentences, question forms
and clauses in all of them. You are beginning to look at phrasal and modal verbs.
Equivalent to:

IELTS score 4.5 - 5.5

TOEFL iBT score 55

TOEIC score 450 - 650

Cambridge PET
You can:

Study on some courses at an English-speaking college

Enter university on a foundation course

Start to focus your English studies on specifics such as English for Business or Academic
Embassy CES courses you can take at this level:

All courses mentioned in the levels below, and:

Pre-Masters (2 terms)

Diploma of English (semester)

FCE Examination preparation

Undergraduate preparation courses


3: Pre-Intermediate

If you are at Pre-intermediate level, you have a good basic ability to communicate and understand, but you
can make great improvement in all areas.
Your ability: You can talk about many subjects and give your opinion on them. You can talk with
confidence in the present, past and future simple tenses. You can perform tasks such as shopping, booking
a hotel room, travel, and making conversation in English. Your grammar includes an understanding of
adjectives, adverbs, comparatives, articles, possessives, and basic prepositions.
Equivalent to:

IELTS score 3.5 - 4.5

TOEFL iBT score 32

TOEIC score 300 - 450

You can:

Study basic practical subjects in English

Start to prepare for Internship

Embassy CES courses you can take at this level:

Embassy Certificate of English

Pre-Masters (3 terms)

Certificate of Business English

Certificate 8

Undergraduate preparation courses


2: Elementary
If you are at Elementary level, you can communicate in a very basic way, mainly in the present and past
simple. Your vocabulary covers everyday useful subject areas.
Your ability: By the end of Elementary level, you can make simple sentences and reply to questions on a
range of personal and common subjects. You can talk about your likes and dislikes, family, and routines.
You can order a meal in a restaurant or go shopping in English.
Equivalent to:

IELTS score 3.0

TOEFL iBT score 20

TOEIC score 150 - 300

You can:

Begin to study sports, leisure or practical subjects in English

Embassy CES courses you can take at this level:

Embassy Certificate of English


1: Beginner
If you are at Beginner level, you have never studied English.
Your ability: You might know a few English words, like 'hello', 'taxi', and 'football'. After only a week's
study at Beginner level, you will be able to say your name and nationality, ask basic questions and give
basic answers. You will know the alphabet, and numbers to 100. You will be able to shop or travel with
basic English and some help. You will know the fundamentals of English pronunciation.
Equivalent to:

IELTS score 1 - 2

TOEFL iBT score 12

TOEIC score 10 - 150

Embassy CES courses you can take at this level:

Embassy Certificate of English in Hastings, San Diego, New York, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth
(these schools offer courses at Beginner level 1)

Breakthrough PARA NIVEL 0 O 1

ESL Level Descriptions

There are 7 levels of instruction, ranging from classes to serve those with no English
skills to classes for those with advanced skills. The classes are FREE and classes in all
levels are offered in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. There are ESL classes at
all San Diego Continuing Education Campuses and at many locations in the
You can register for the classes by going to one of our campus ESL assessment
ESL/Beginning Literacy 1

Develop basic language skills needed in classroom and in day-to-day adult situations.
Focus on listening and minimal speaking tasks necessary to satisfy routine classroom
and social demands and limited work requirements. Introduction to reading and writing
skills. For those with little or no literacy in English.
Vocabulary words
ESL Beginning Literacy 1 Class Schedule
ESL/Beginning Low 2

Develop greater skills in listening and speaking for basic communication in the
classroom, outside the classroom and at work. Expand reading and writing skills,
introduction of basic grammar. Must have completed Beginning Literacy or equivalent.
Writing simple forms, sentences
o Commands (Give the book to him.)
o Pronouns (he, she, they, I my, his, her)
o Simple present tense (I go to school.)
o Present continuous ( I am studying English)
o Simple Past ( I went to school.)
o Future (I am going to buy a car.)
o Can/cant (I can speak English.)
ESL Beginning Low 2 Class Schedule
ESL/Beginning High 3

Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to function satisfactorily in most real-life
situations related to immediate needs. Must have completed Beginning Low 2 or
Writing forms, notes, series of sentences, paragraph
o Review of present, present continuous and future with going to questions and
o Future tense with will
o Introduction of have to, should, may, must would
o Prepositions (in, on, at, next to, between)
ESL Beginning High 3 Class Schedule
ESL/Intermediate Low 4

Refine skills needed in conversations beyond survival needs. Function independently in

most familiar situations and use appropriate language in routine social situations. Must
have completed Beginning High 3 or equivalent.
Writing notes, 2-3 paragraphs, short letters, applications
o Review of present, past, and future tenses, modals (can, should, have to, etc)
o Present perfect (I have lived here for two years.)
o Present perfect continuous (I have been studying English for 2 months.)
o Past continuous (I was sleeping when the phone rang.)
o Future conditional (If I have time, I will _____.)
o Comparative (Los Angeles is bigger than San Diego.)

Infinitives and gerunds (I want to get a job. I enjoy watching TV.)

ESL Intermediate Low 4 Class Schedule

ESL/Intermediate High 5

Skills needed to function effectively in familiar and unfamiliar social situations and
familiar work situations. Communication needed to discuss/interpret cultural differences
and use English to solve problems outside the class. Must have completed
Intermediate High 4 or equivalent.
Writing short essays or series of paragraphs, reports, letters
o Review of verb tenses in levels 1- 4 and review of present conditional
o Difference between past tense and present perfect tense
o Comparatives and Superlatives (better, best, more expensive, most expensive)
o Past perfect (I had finished my work when you called.)
o Conditional unreal (if I had time, I would _____)
o Reported speech (He said that he was married.)
o Verbs + prepositions (talk about, listen to, interested in)
o Adjective clauses (The man who was wearing the black pants took the book.)
ESL Intermediate High 5 Class Schedule
ESL/Advanced Low 6

Fluency and communication skills. Self-monitor effectively when using basic

grammatical structure and introduction to more complex structures. U.S. cultural values
and thinking patterns are introduced through discussions, readings and writing. Must
have completed Intermediate High 5 or equivalent.
Conversation and oral presentations
American culture
Writing essays, letters, reports
Research on the internet
o Review of grammar from levels 2 - 5
o Modals in the past (I would have bought the car if I had had the money.)
o Past conditional (If I had known, I would have told you the news.)
o Passive voice in the present, past and future (The child was picked up.)
o Tag questions (You are going, arent you?)
o Reported speech in the past (I told him that I had returned the book.)
o Use of articles (a, an, the)
o Adjectives, adverb, and noun clauses (He went to school even though it was
o Future perfect (I will have bought a house by 2008)
ESL Advanced Low 6 Class Schedule
ESL/Advanced High 7

Demonstrate knowledge of written and spoken English well enough to pass the TOEFL
and/or participate in a college or university program.
ESL Advanced High 7 Class Schedule
Conversation and oral presentations
American culture
Writing essays, letters, reports
Research on the internet
o Review of grammar from levels 2 - 5
o Modals in the past (I would have bought the car if I had had the money.)
o Past conditional (If I had known, I would have told you the news.)
o Passive voice in the present, past and future (The child was picked up.)
o Tag questions (You are going, arent you?)
o Reported speech in the past (I told him that I had returned the book.)
o Use of articles (a, an, the)
o Adjectives, adverb, and noun clauses (He went to school even though it was
o Future perfect (I will have bought a house by 2008)
ESL Class Schedule

For C2 Mastery, CPE, LTE Level 5, TOEIC 900+

Proficiency Masterclass, New Edition
CPE Practice Tests with explanatory key
Quick Placement Test
Oxford Placement Tests
Oxford Preparation Course for the TOEIC Test
Oxford Practice Tests for the TOEIC Test
On Course for IELTS NEW
IELTS Preparation and Practice NEW
For C1 Effective Proficiency, CAE, LTE Level 4, TOEIC 785-900
Advanced Masterclass CAE
Advanced Listening and Speaking
Advanced Writing with English in Use
CAE Practice Tests
Towards Proficiency
Landmark Advanced (CAE Study Pack)
Quick Placement Test
Oxford Placement Tests
BEC Higher Practice Tests
Oxford Preparation Course for the TOEIC Test
Oxford Practice Tests for the TOEIC Test
On Course for IELTS NEW
IELTS Preparation and Practice NEW
For B2 Vantage, FCE, LTE Level 3, TOEIC 505-780

First Certificate Masterclass, New Edition NEW
Fast Class NEW
First Certificate Knockout
First Certificate Skills: Use of English NEW
FCE Practice Tests
Quick Placement Test
Oxford Placement Tests
BEC Vantage Masterclass
BEC Vantage Practice Tests
Oxford Preparation Course for the TOEIC test
Oxford Practice Tests for the TOEIC test
On Course for IELTS NEW
IELTS Preparation and Practice NEW
Countdown to First Certificate
New Success at first Certificate
For B1 Threshold, PET, LTE Level 2, TOEIC 405-500
PET Masterclass NEW
PET Practice Tests, New Edition NEW
Quick Placement Test
Oxford Placement Tests
BEC Preliminary Practice Tests
Oxford Preparation Course for the TOEIC Test
Oxford Practice Tests for the TOEIC Test
On Course for IELTS NEW
IELTS Preparation and Practice NEW
For A2 Waystage,

Los mtodos de nuestros profesores se centran en la comunicacin, de forma interactiva y personalizada, asegurando
que entenders y hablars ingls desde el primer da. Nuestra metodologa pone especial nfasis en el desarrollo de
las destrezas lingsticas, tanto orales como escritas, y, al mismo tiempo, cuidamos los aspectos tericos de la lengua
inglesa. Nuestro objetivo final es que el estudiante consiga hablar el ingls con fluidez y correccin.

Niveles ih Santander

Consejo de Europa


Exmenes Cambridge ESOL

8 Proficient

C2 Proficient

CPE - Certificate of Proficiency in


7 Operational

C1 Effective Operational

CAE - Certificate in Advanced English

6 Vantage 2

B2 Vantage

FCE - First Certificate in English

B1 Threshold

PET - Preliminary English Test

3 Waystage

A2 Waystage

KET - Key English Test

2 Breakthrough

A1 Breakthrough

5 Vantage 1
4 Threshold

1 Basic 2
0 Basic 1

























-La Escuela Oficial de Idiomas convalida el CPE con su nivel ms alto (Certificado de Aptitud)
-La direccin General de Ordenacin Acadmica acepta el FCE y el CPE para que profesores de letras
puedan impartir clases de ingls en centros concertados.
-Multitud de empresas los exigen como requerimiento.
-Multitud de Universidades los reconocen.
Los Exmenes de Cambridge ESOL estn ligados al Marco de Referencia Europeo de las Lenguas del
Consejo de Europa.

Key English Test (KET)

Este examen se corresponde con el Nivel A2 del Marco de Referencia Europeo. En este nivel de
dominio de la lengua los candidatos debern ser capaces de:

Entender frases y expresiones de uso frecuente que hagan referencia directa a la vida cotidiana
(por ejemplo: informacin acerca de su familia o amigos, trabajo, compras, entorno, etc.).
Hacerse entender en situaciones sencillas y rutinarias que se limiten a un intercambio de
informacin sobre temas conocidos.
Utilizar palabras sencillas para describir su origen, educacin, entorno y otros tpicos, con
relacin a sus necesidades inmediatas.

KET evala las habilidades de Comprensin lectora, Comprensin auditiva y Expresin oral y consta de
tres partes:

Comprensin lectora y Expresin escrita

Comprensin auditiva
Expresin oral

Preliminary English Test (PET)

Este examen se corresponde con el nivel B1 del Marco de Referencia Europeo. En este nivel de
competencia, los candidatos debern ser capaces de:

Entender los argumentos esenciales de un discurso normal y comprender la conversacin

cuando sta se centre en temas que le resulten conocidos tales como trabajo, escuela,
aficiones, etc.
Saber desenvolverse en la mayora de situaciones de comunicacin que se pueden dar cuando
se viaja.

Expresarse de forma sencilla y coherente sobre temas conocidos e intereses personales. Los
candidatos son capaces de contar experiencias y acontecimientos personales y describir sus
sueos, ilusiones y metas. Tambin son capaces de explicar o justificar brevemente sus planes
u opiniones.

PET se divide en tres partes:

Comprensin lectora y Expresin escrita

Comprensin auditiva
Expresin oral

First Certificate in English (FCE)

Este examen se corresponde con el Nivel B2 del Marco de Referencia Europeo. En este nivel de
competencia, los candidatos debern ser capaces de:

Captar el mensaje esencial de textos con temas de carcter concreto y abstracto y participar
activamente en una conversacin tcnica dentro de su campo de especializacin.
Comunicarse con suficiente espontaneidad y fluidez con hablantes nativos sin que la
conversacin involucre un esfuerzo especial por parte de ninguno de los interlocutores.
Expresarse de manera clara y matizada sobre temas diversos.
Ser capaz de comentar noticias de actualidad y de examinar las ventajas y desventajas de
situaciones concretas.

FCE se divide en cinco partes:

Comprensin lectora
Expresin escrita
Comprensin auditiva
Uso de la lengua
Expresin oral

Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

Este examen se corresponde con el Nivel C1 del Marco de Referencia Europeo. En este nivel de
dominio de la lengua los candidatos debern ser capaces de:

Entender y comprender una mayor variedad de textos ms extensos y lingsticamente ms

complejos as como de reconocer su sentido implcito.
Expresarse con soltura y espontaneidad sin necesidad de esforzarse demasiado para encontrar
la expresin adecuada.
Hacer un uso flexible y efectivo del idioma para fines sociales, acadmicos profesionales o de
Producir textos claros, bien estructurados y detallados sobre temas de cierta complejidad y ser
capaz de relacionar temas utilizando para ello una variedad de recursos lingsticos apropiados.

CAE es reconocido por muchas universidades y facultades en el Reino Unido y otros pases de habla
inglesa como prueba de haber alcanzado un nivel de ingls suficiente como para acceder a cursos de
educacin superior. CAE tambin es reconocido por empresas en todo el mundo. Una lista de estas
universidades, empresas y otras instituciones est disponible en www.CambridgeESOL.org/CAE

El examen de CAE consta de cinco partes:

Comprensin de leitura
Expresin escrita
Comprensin auditiva
Uso de la lengua
Expresin oral

Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

Este examen se corresponde con el Nivel C2 del Marco de Referencia Europeo. En este nivel de
dominio de la lengua los candidatos debern ser capaces de:

Entender prcticamente todo lo que leen y escuchan con facilidad.

Resumir informacin procedente de diversas fuentes ya sean en lengua oral o escrita y
reproducir el argumento bsico y lgico de esa informacin de un modo coherente.
Expresarse con fluidez, de manera espontnea y precisa, y saber matizar opiniones incluso
tratando temas complejos.

CPE es reconocido por muchas universidades y facultades en el Reino Unido y otros pases de habla
inglesa como prueba de haber alcanzado un nivel de ingls suficiente como para acceder a cursos de
educacin superior. CAE tambin es reconocido por empresas en todo el mundo. Una lista de estas
universidades, empresas y otras instituciones est disponible en www.CambridgeESOL.org/CPE
El Examen del CPE consta de cinco partes:

Comprensin de lectura
Expresin escrita
Comprensin auditiva
Uso de la lengua
Expresin oral

Business English Certificates (BEC)

Evalan la capacidad de los candidatos para comunicarse eficazmente en el campo de los

negocios, pero no requieren conocimientos especializados.
Estn dirigidos a estudiantes que necesitan unos conocimientos concretos del ingls para
emprender una carrera empresarial con proyeccin internacional.
Se evalan cuatro reas diferentes de habilidad lingstica: Comprensin auditiva,
Comprensin lectora, Expresin oral y Expresin escrita.
Los ejercicios simulan situaciones de la vida cotidiana en el mbito de los negocios con el fin
de evaluar la capacidad de los candidatos para utilizar un gran nmero de funciones y
estructuras lingsticas en el contexto empresarial.
Estn disponibles en los siguientes niveles: B1 (BEC Preliminary), B2 (BEC Vantage) y C1
(BEC Higher).

The Business Language Testing Service (BULATS)

Desarrollado conjuntamente por University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate,

Alliance Franaise, Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes y la Universidad de Salamanca, el Servicio de
Evaluacin de Idiomas para los Negocios
Consiste en una prueba fiable diseada para evaluar el dominio de idiomas extranjeros en el
mbito de la empresa
Pretende evaluar el nivel de idiomas atendiendo a las necesidades especficas de los
organismos internacionales
ha sido concebida para evaluar la habilidad lingstica en una lengua extranjera de
trabajadores en activo y de quienes buscan trabajo
puede realizarse en papel impreso (la prueba estndar BULATS) o por ordenador
est basada en la prctica, puesto que va dirigida a comprobar el dominio del idioma requerido
en la empresa
puede hacerse en cualquier fecha
La Escala BULATS est vinculada a ALTE y a los Niveles del Marco de Referencia Europeo

Cambridge Young Learners English Tests (YLE)

Exmenes de ingls para nios de entre 7 y 12 aos

Diseados utilizando contenidos adaptados a las necesidades de los nios
Fechas de examen flexibles
3 partes (Comprensin lectora y Expresin escrita, Comprensin auditiva y Expresin oral)
Cada participante recibe un certificado
3 niveles: Starters, Movers y Flyers
Un buen resultado en el Nivel Movers es equivalente al nivel A1 del Marco de Referencia
Europeo. El nivel ms alto (Flyers) equivale al nivel A2 y tiene el mismo nivel que el Key
English Test (KET).

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Esta prueba de ingls ha sido desarrollada y dirigida conjuntamente por Cambridge ESOL, el
British Council y el International Development Programme of Australian Universities and
Colleges (IDP) (Programa de Desarrollo Internacional de Universidades y Facultades
Reconocido como requisito de admisin a estudios internacionales por parte de todas las
universidades de Gran Bretaa, Australia y Nueva Zelanda, as como por muchas universidades
europeas, el IELTS es tambin aceptado por muchas universidades de los Estados Unidos
(incluida la Universidad de California, Berkeley) como prueba del dominio del idioma de los
Adaptada a todos los niveles de conocimiento y habilidad, esta prueba est dirigida, en
principio a aquellos candidatos que desean completar sus estudios de educacin secundaria o
cursar estudios de formacin para el empleo en el Reino Unido o en Australia. Tambin es
adecuada para quienes tienen intencin de trasladarse a esos pases. De hecho, el gobierno
australiano exige que este ttulo acompae cualquier solicitud de inmigracin.
Los resultados se clasifican en nueve niveles, desde el Nivel 1 = No Usuario (estudiantes con
muy poco dominio del idioma) hasta el Nivel 9 = Usuario Experto (estudiantes con fluidez
Se someten a prueba cuatro reas diferentes de habilidad lingstica: Comprensin auditiva,
Comprensin lectora, Expresin oral y Expresin escrita.

Certificate in English Language Skills (CELS)

Es un examen modular que evala , por separado y de manera independiente, la habilidad

lingstica en las siguientes reas : Comprensin auditiva, Expresin oral, Comprensin lectora
y Expresin escrita.

Disponible en una escala de 3 niveles : (Nivel B1 "Preliminary", Nivel B2 "Vantage" y Nivel C1


ESL Exams: A Teacher's Guide

by Keith Taylor
It's the end of another class, and one student has stayed behind. No problem, you
think, maybe an easy grammar question, or a comment on how they enjoyed the class
(or not!)... or maybe it's a question about an ESL exam. "What's the difference between
TOEFL and TOEIC?" "Should I take the FCE?" "Who recognizes IELTS?" So if you
don't know your BEC from your KET, or your CAE from your CELS, here's a brief guide
to the most popular ESL exams.
ESL exams fall broadly into three main categories: General English, Business English
and Academic English.
General English
Probably the most popular in this category are the Cambridge ESOL exams. One and a
half million people in 135 countries take Cambridge exams every year. There are five
General English exams, sometimes referred to as the "Cambridge Main Suite."
The first two levels are the KET (Key English Test) and the PET (Preliminary English
Test). The KET and PET have reading and writing, listening, and speaking
components, and are most often used to assess progress or to prepare for the next
exam in the series. The PET is also recognized by some employers and universities.
KET and PET have two pass grades, Pass with merit and Pass.
Next up from the PET is the FCE (First Certificate in English). The FCE has five
sections, reading, writing, use of English, listening and speaking. It is widely recognized
by employers and educational institutions and so is very popular with students who
want to study or work abroad.
Many universities and employers, however, prefer the CAE (Certificate in Advanced
English), which is the next level up. This exam shows that a student is capable of
following a university course or can function in a range of business contexts.
After the CAE comes the CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English), the highest level in
the series. Students who pass this exam have the ability to function effectively in
almost every English speaking context. The CPE is also a typical requirement for nonnative speakers who want to train as English teachers. Students typically need 3 years
of study after passing the FCE to reach this level (depending, of course, on how often
they study and other factors).
FCE, CAE and CPE have five grades, A-E, of which A-C are passes.
Cambridge also has a series of General English exams for Young Learners aged
between 7 and 12 (YLE). There are three exams in the series, Starters, Movers and
Flyers. They are taken mainly as a means of measuring progress, and also as
preparation for the KET and PET. There is no pass or fail - students are awarded up to
five "shields" for each component (reading and writing, listening, speaking).
Other General English exams
Cambridge also offers CELS (Certificates in English Language Skills). These are
individual exams in each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking).
Students can choose which of the exams they want to take, according to their strengths
and requirements.
Pitman, part of the British City and Guilds Group, is another examining body with a
series of General English exams. The International ESOL covers listening, reading and

writing, and the International Spoken ESOL is a one to one structured interview. Both
have six levels, from basic to advanced.
Business English
Every year four and a half million people take the TOEIC (Test of English for
International Communication), run by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The
TOEIC is a multiple choice exam in two sections, listening and reading, each scored
out of 445, giving a total of 990. Many companies and government agencies use
TOEIC as a criterion for recruiting or promoting staff, or for sending staff abroad. Some
universities also use TOEIC, requiring their business school students to achieve a
particular score prior to graduation, for example.
Cambridge also has a series of business exams called the BEC (Business English
Certificate). BEC comes in three levels, Preliminary, Vantage and Higher. The types of
exam task are similar to those in the Cambridge Main Suite, but test language ability in
a business context. They are recognized by many employers worldwide, and students
take them to demonstrate language skills required for international business. There are
two pass grades for BEC, Pass with merit and Pass.
Other Business English exams
Cambridge offers BULATS (The Business Language Testing Service). BULATS is
designed specifically for companies and organizations to test the language ability of
employees who need English in their work, and for students and employees on
language and business courses.
Pitman has a three-level series of exams called English for Business Communications,
which tests business writing ability, and English for Office Skills, a two-level series
designed to test the ability to carry out office-related tasks where accuracy in writing
and following instructions is important.
Academic English
A common question from students is "What's the difference between TOEIC and
TOEFL?" Well, both are run by ETS, but whereas TOEIC evaluates language skills for
the workplace, TOEFL evaluates language skills in an academic context. It is therefore
used primarily as a prerequisite for admission to universities and colleges. More than
5000 colleges and universities in 90 countries recognize the exam. During 2005 and
2006, TOEFL is phasing in a new internet-based test (iBT), which will replace the
current computer-based and paper-based exams. The iBT has 4 sections, reading,
listening, speaking and writing, each with a score of 30, giving a total score of 120. This
is likely to cause some confusion for a while, as most students and universities are
used to working with the paper-based total of 677, or the computer-based total of 300!
Cambridge also has an academic exam, the IELTS (International English Language
Testing System), which they jointly manage with the British Council and IDP:IELTS
Australia. IELTS is recognized by universities and colleges, as well as employers,
immigration authorities and professional bodies. The exam has listening, reading,
writing and speaking components. For the reading and writing, students can choose
between an academic and a general option. IELTS is scored on a scale of 1-9.
Comparing levels
One of the most common questions from students is how exams in the different
categories compare to each other. Is the FCE equivalent to one of the BEC exams? If I
have the CAE, what TOEFL score can I expect? Luckily, we have a reference guide to
help us here, called the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages"
(CEF). The CEF divides language learners into six levels, and enables us to compare
all the ESL exams according to these levels.

The six levels are A1 (Breakthrough), A2 (Waystage), B1 (Threshold), B2 (Vantage), C1

(Effective Operational Proficiency), and C2 (Mastery).
Here's a quick comparison of exams at the different levels. Bear in mind that this is a
general guide only -- students' scores in different exams will of course depend on many
factors, such as preparation time and motivation!
A1: YLE Movers, Pitman ESOL Basic, IELTS score 1-2.
A2: KET, YLE Flyers, Pitman ESOL Elementary, TOEIC score 246-380, TOEFL iBT
score 32-42, IELTS score 3.
B1: PET, TOEIC score 381-540, BEC Preliminary, TOEFL iBT score 43-61, IELTS
score 3.5-4.5.
B2: FCE, Pitman ESOL Intermediate, TOEIC score 541-700, BEC Vantage, TOEFL iBT
score 62-91, IELTS score 5-6.
C1: CAE, Pitman ESOL Higher Intermediate, TOEIC score 701-910, BEC Higher,
TOEFL iBT score 92-112, IELTS score 6.5-7.
C2: CPE, Pitman ESOL Advanced, TOEIC score 911-990, TOEFL iBT score 113-120,
IELTS score 7.5-9.
comparing ESL exams
The table below compares ESL exams using a guide called the "Common European Framework of Reference
for Languages" (CEF)

The CEF divides language learners into six levels, A1 (Breakthrough), A2 (Waystage), B1 (Threshold), B2
(Vantage), C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency), and C2 (Mastery).

Bear in mind that these are not hard and fast comparisons - the score that a student can expect in any exam
depends on many factors, preparation time and motivation among them!
Cambridge TOEFL
3813.5Preliminary 43-61
92-112 6.5-7
113-120 7.5-9

General English
Main Suite










Business English

A1: YLE Movers, Pitman ESOL Basic, IELTS score 1-2.

A2: KET, YLE Flyers, Pitman ESOL Elementary, TOEIC score 246-380, TOEFL iBT score 32-42, IELTS
score 3.
B1: PET, TOEIC score 381-540, BEC Preliminary, TOEFL iBT score 43-61, IELTS score 3.5-4.5.
B2: FCE, Pitman ESOL Intermediate, TOEIC score 541-700, BEC Vantage, TOEFL iBT score 62-91,
IELTS score 5-6.
C1: CAE, Pitman ESOL Higher Intermediate, TOEIC score 701-910, BEC Higher, TOEFL iBT score 92112, IELTS score 6.5-7.
C2: CPE, Pitman ESOL Advanced, TOEIC score 911-990, TOEFL iBT score 113-120, IELTS score 7.5-9.

English language learning and teaching

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

See also: Language education and Second language acquisition
"ESL" redirects here. For other uses, see ESL (disambiguation).
ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages),
and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by
speakers with a different native language. The precise usage, including the different
use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is described below. These terms
are most commonly used in relation to teaching and learning English, but they may
also be used in relation to demographic information.
ELT (English language teaching) is a widely-used teacher-centred term, as in the
English language teaching divisions of large publishing houses, ELT training, etc. The
abbreviations TESL (teaching English as a second language), TESOL (teaching
English for speakers of other languages) and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign
language) are all also used.
Other terms used in this field include EAL (English as an additional language), ESD
(English as a second dialect), EIL (English as an international language), ELF (English
as a lingua franca), ESP (English for special purposes, or English for specific
purposes), EAP (English for academic purposes). Some terms that refer to those who
are learning English are ELL (English language learner), LEP (limited English
proficiency) and CLD (culturally and linguistically diverse).


1 Terminology and types

o 1.1 English outside English-speaking countries
o 1.2 English within English-speaking countries
o 1.3 Umbrella terms
o 1.4 Which variety to teach
o 1.5 Systems of simplified English
2 Difficulties for learners
o 2.1 Pronunciation
o 2.2 Grammar
o 2.3 Vocabulary
o 2.4 Differences between spoken and written English
o 2.5 Varieties of English
3 Exams for learners
o 3.1 The Common European Framework
4 Qualifications for teachers
o 4.1 Non-native speakers
o 4.2 United States qualifications
o 4.3 British qualifications
5 Professional associations and unions
6 Acronyms and abbreviations
o 6.1 Types of English
o 6.2 Other abbreviations
7 References and notes
8 See also


8.1 Language terminology

8.2 General language teaching and learning
8.3 English language teaching and learning
8.4 Contemporary English
8.5 Other

9 External links

[edit] Terminology and types

The many acronyms used in the field of English teaching and learning may be
confusing. English is a language with great reach and influence; it is taught all over the
world under many different circumstances. In English-speaking countries, English
language teaching has essentially evolved in two broad directions: instruction for
people who intend to stay in the country and those who don't. These divisions have
grown firmer as the instructors of these two "industries" have used different
terminology, followed distinct training qualifications, formed separate professional
associations, and so on. Crucially, these two arms have very different funding
structures, public in the former and private in the latter, and to some extent this
influences the way schools are established and classes are held. Matters are further
complicated by the fact that the United States and the United Kingdom, both major
engines of the language, describe these categories in different terms: as many
eloquent users of the language have observed, "England and America are two
countries divided by a common language." (Attributed to Winston Churchill, George
Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde.) The following technical definitions may therefore
have their currency contested.

[edit] English outside English-speaking countries

EFL, English as a foreign language, indicates the use of English in a non-Englishspeaking region. Study can occur either in the student's home country, as part of the
normal school curriculum or otherwise, or, for the more privileged minority, in an
anglophone country that they visit as a sort of educational tourist, particularly
immediately before or after graduating from university. TEFL is the teaching of English
as a foreign language; note that this sort of instruction can take place in any country,
English-speaking or not. Typically, EFL is learned either to pass exams as a necessary
part of one's education, or for career progression while working for an organisation or
business with an international focus. EFL may be part of the state school curriculum in
countries where English has no special status (what linguist Braj Kachru calls the
"expanding circle countries"); it may also be supplemented by lessons paid for
privately. Teachers of EFL generally assume that students are literate in their mother
tongue. The Chinese EFL Journal [3] and Iranian EFL Journal [4] are examples of
international journals dedicated to specifics of English language learning within
countries where English is used as a foreign language.

[edit] English within English-speaking countries

The other broad grouping is the use of English within the Anglosphere. In what theorist
Braj Kachru calls "the inner circle", i.e. countries such as the United Kingdom and the
United States, this use of English is generally by refugees, immigrants and their
children. It also includes the use of English in "outer circle" countries, often former
British colonies, where English is an official language even if it is not spoken as a
mother tongue by the majority of the population.

In the US, Canada and Australia, this use of English is called ESL (English as a second
language). This term has been criticized on the grounds that many learners already
speak more than one language. A counter-argument says that the word "a" in the
phrase "a second language" means there is no presumption that English is the second
acquired language (see also Second language). TESL is the teaching of English as a
second language.
In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, the term ESL has been replaced by ESOL
(English for speakers of other languages). In these countries TESOL (teaching English
to speakers of other languages) is normally used to refer to teaching English only to
this group. In the UK, the term EAL (English as an additional language), rather than
ESOL, is usually used when talking about primary and secondary schools. [1]
Other acronyms were created to describe the person rather than the language to be
learned. The term LEP (Limited English proficiency) was created in 1975 by the Lau
Remedies following a decision of the US Supreme Court. ELL (English Language
Learner), used by United States governments and school systems, was created by
Charlene Rivera of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Education in an effort to
label learners positively, rather than ascribing a deficiency to them. LOTE (Languages
other than English) is a parallel term used in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Typically, this sort of English (called ESL in the United States, Canada, and Australia,
ESOL in the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand) is learned to function in the
new host country, e.g. within the school system (if a child), to find and hold down a job
(if an adult), to perform the necessities of daily life. The teaching of it does not
presuppose literacy in the mother tongue. It is usually paid for by the host government
to help newcomers settle into their adopted country, sometimes as part of an explicit
citizenship program. It is technically possible for ESL to be taught not in the host
country, but in, for example, a refugee camp, as part of a pre-departure program
sponsored by the government soon to receive new potential citizens. In practice,
however, this is extremely rare.
Particularly in Canada and Australia, the term ESD (English as a second dialect) is
used alongside ESL, usually in reference to programs for Canadian First Nations
people or indigenous Australians, respectively.[2] It refers to the use of standard English,
which may need to be explicitly taught, by speakers of a creole or non-standard variety.
It is often grouped with ESL as ESL/ESD.

[edit] Umbrella terms

All these ways of teaching English can be bundled together into an umbrella term.
Unfortunately, all the English teachers in the world cannot agree on just one. The term
TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) is used in American English
to include both TEFL and TESL. British English uses ELT (English language teaching),
because TESOL has a different, more specific meaning; see above.

[edit] Which variety to teach

It is worth noting that ESL and EFL programs also differ in the variety of English which
is taught; "English" is a term that can refer to various dialects, including British English,
American English, and many others. Obviously, those studying English in order to fit
into their new country will learn the variety spoken there. However, for those who do
not intend to change countries, the question arises of which sort of English to learn. If
they are going abroad for a short time to study English, they need to choose which
country. For those staying at home, the choice may be made for them in that private
language schools or the state school system may only offer one model. Students

studying EFL in Hong Kong, for example, are more likely to learn British English,
whereas students in the Philippines are more likely to learn American English.
For this reason, many teachers now emphasize teaching English as an international
language (EIL), also known as English as a lingua franca (ELF). Linguists are charting
the development of international English, a term with contradictory and confusing
meanings, one of which refers to a decontextualised variant of the language,
independent of the culture and associated references of any particular country, useful
when, for example, a Saudi does business with someone from China or Albania.

[edit] Systems of simplified English

For international communication several models of "simplified English" have been
suggested, among them:
Basic English, developed by Charles Kay Ogden (and later also I. A. Richards) in the
1930s; a recent revival has been initiated by Bill Templer[3]
Threshold Level English, developed by van Ek and Alexander[4]
Globish, developed by Jean-Paul Nerrire
Basic Global English, developed by Joachim Grzega[5]
Nuclear English, proposed by Randolph Quirk and Gabriele Stein but never fully
[edit] Difficulties for learners

Language teaching practice often assumes that most of the difficulties that learners
face in the study of English are a consequence of the degree to which their native
language differs from English (a contrastive analysis approach). A native speaker of
Chinese, for example, may face many more difficulties than a native speaker of
German, because German is closely related to English, whereas Chinese is not. This
may be true for anyone of any mother tongue (also called first language, normally
abbreviated L1) setting out to learn any other language (called a target language,
second language or L2). See also second language acquisition (SLA) for mixed
evidence from linguistic research.
Language learners often produce errors of syntax and pronunciation thought to result
from the influence of their L1, such as mapping its grammatical patterns inappropriately
onto the L2, pronouncing certain sounds incorrectly or with difficulty, and confusing
items of vocabulary known as false friends. This is known as L1 transfer or "language
interference". However, these transfer effects are typically stronger for beginners'
language production, and SLA research has highlighted many errors which cannot be
attributed to the L1, as they are attested in learners of many language backgrounds (for
example, failure to apply 3rd person present singular -s to verbs, as in 'he make').
While English is no more complex than other languages, it has several features which
may create difficulties for learners. Conversely, because such a large number of people
are studying it, products have been developed to help them do so, such as the
monolingual learner's dictionary, which is written with a restricted defining vocabulary.

[edit] Pronunciation

Consonant phonemes
English does not have more individual consonant sounds than most languages. However,
the interdentals, // and // (the sounds written with th), which are common in English
(thin, thing, etc.; and the, this, that, etc.) are relatively rare in other languages, even
others in the Germanic family (e.g., English thousand = German tausend), and these

sounds are missing even in some English dialects. Some learners substitute a [t] or [d]
sound, while others shift to [s] or [z], [f] or [v] and even [ts] or [dz]).
Speakers of Japanese, Korean and Chinese varieties have difficulty distinguishing [r]
and [l]. The distinction between [b] and [v] can cause difficulty for native speakers of
Spanish, Japanese and Korean.
Vowel phonemes

The precise number of distinct vowel sounds depends on the variety of English: for
example, Received Pronunciation has twelve monophthongs (single or "pure" vowels),
eight diphthongs (double vowels) and two triphthongs (triple vowels); whereas General
American has thirteen monophthongs and three diphthongs. Many learners, such as
speakers of Spanish, Japanese or Arabic, have fewer vowels, or only pure ones, in their
mother tongue and so may have problems both with hearing and with pronouncing these
Syllable structure

In its syllable structure, English allows for a cluster of up to three consonants before the
vowel and four after it (e.g., straw, desks, glimpsed). The syllable structure causes
problems for speakers of many other languages. Japanese, for example, broadly
alternates consonant and vowel sounds so learners from Japan often try to force vowels
in between the consonants (e.g., desks /desks/ becomes "desukusu" or milk shake
/mlk ek/ becomes "mirukushku").
Learners from languages where all words end in vowels sometimes tend to make all
English words end in vowels, thus make /mek/ can come out as [mek]. The
learner's task is further complicated by the fact that native speakers may drop consonants
in the more complex blends (e.g., [mns] instead of [mns] for months).
Unstressed vowels - Native English speakers frequently replace almost any vowel in an
unstressed syllable with an unstressed vowel, often schwa. For example, from has a
distinctly pronounced short 'o' sound when it is stressed (e.g., Where are you from?), but
when it is unstressed, the short 'o' reduces to a schwa (e.g., I'm from London.). In some
cases, unstressed vowels may disappear altogether, in words such as chocolate (which
has four syllables in Spanish, but only two as pronounced by Americans: "choc-lit".)
Stress in English more strongly determines vowel quality than it does in most other
world languages (although there are notable exceptions such as Russian). For example,
in some varieties the syllables an, en, in, on and un are pronounced as homophones, that
is, exactly alike. Native speakers can usually distinguish an able, enable, and unable
because of their position in a sentence, but this is more difficult for inexperienced
English speakers. Moreover, learners tend to overpronounce these unstressed vowels,
giving their speech an unnatural rhythm.
Stress timing - English tends to be a stress-timed language - this means that stressed
syllables are roughly equidistant in time, no matter how many syllables come in
between. Although some other languages, e.g., German and Russian, are also stresstimed, most of the world's other major languages are syllable-timed, with each syllable
coming at an equal time after the previous one. Learners from these languages often
have a staccato rhythm when speaking English that is disconcerting to a native speaker.
"Stress for emphasis" - students' own languages may not use stress for emphasis as
English does.

"Stress for contrast" - stressing the right word or expression. This may not come easily
to some nationalities.
"Emphatic apologies" - the normally unstressed auxiliary is stressed (I really am very
In English there are quite a number of words - about fifty - that have two different
pronunciations, depending on whether they are stressed. They are "grammatical words":
pronouns, prepositions, auxiliary verbs and conjunctions. Most students tend to overuse
the strong form, which is pronounced with the written vowel.
Connected speech
Phonological processes such as assimilation, elision and epenthesis together with
indistinct word boundaries can confuse learners when listening to natural spoken
English, as well as making their speech sound too formal if they do not use them. For
example, in RP eight beetles and three ants /et bitlz nd ri nts/ becomes
See also: Accent reduction

[edit] Grammar

Tenses - English has a relatively large number of tenses with some quite subtle
differences, such as the difference between the simple past "I ate" and the present perfect
"I have eaten." Progressive and perfect progressive forms add complexity. (See English
Functions of auxiliaries - Learners of English tend to find it difficult to manipulate the
various ways in which English uses the first auxiliary verb of a tense. These include
negation (eg He hasn't been drinking.), inversion with the subject to form a question (eg
Has he been drinking?), short answers (eg Yes, he has.) and tag questions (has he?). A
further complication is that the dummy auxiliary verb do /does /did is added to fulfil
these functions in the simple present and simple past, but not for the verb to be.
Modal verbs - English also has a significant number of modal auxiliary verbs which
each have a number of uses. For example, the opposite of "You must be here at 8"
(obligation) is usually "You don't have to be here at 8" (lack of obligation, choice), while
"must" in "You must not drink the water" (prohibition) has a different meaning from
"must" in "You must not be a native speaker" (deduction). This complexity takes
considerable work for most learners to master.
Idiomatic usage - English is reputed to have a relatively high degree of idiomatic usage.
For example, the use of different main verb forms in such apparently parallel
constructions as "try to learn", "help learn", and "avoid learning" pose difficulty for
learners. Another example is the idiomatic distinction between "make" and "do": "make
a mistake", not "do a mistake"; and "do a favour", not "make a favour".
Articles - English has an appreciable number of articles, including the definite article
the and the indefinite article a, an. At times English nouns can or indeed must be used
without an article; this is called the zero article. Some of the differences between
definite, indefinite and zero article are fairly easy to learn, but others are not, particularly
since a learner's native language may lack articles or use them in different ways than
English does. Although the information conveyed by articles is rarely essential for
communication, English uses them frequently (several times in the average sentence), so
that they require some effort from the learner.

[edit] Vocabulary

Phrasal verbs - Phrasal verbs in English can cause difficulties for many learners
because they have several meanings and different syntactic patterns. There are also a
number of phrasal verb differences between American and British English.
Word derivation - Word derivation in English requires a lot of rote learning. For
example, an adjective can be negated by using the prefix un- (e.g. unable), in- (e.g.
inappropriate), dis- (e.g. dishonest), or a- (e.g. amoral), or through the use of one of a
myriad of related but rarer prefixes, all modified versions of the first four.
Size of lexicon - The history of English has resulted in a very large vocabulary,
essentially one stream from Old English and one from the Norman infusion of Latinderived terms. (Schmitt & Marsden claim that English has one of the largest
vocabularies of any known language.) This inevitably requires more work for a learner
to master the language.

[edit] Differences between spoken and written English

As with most languages, written language tends to use a more formal register than
spoken language. The acquisition of literacy takes significant effort in English.
Spelling - Because of the many changes in pronunciation which have occurred since a
written standard developed, and the retention of many historical idiosyncrasies in
spelling, English spelling is difficult even for native speakers to master. This difficulty is
shown in such activities as spelling bees that generally require the memorization of
words. English speakers may also rely on computer tools such as spell checkers more
than speakers of other languages, as the users of the utility may have forgotten, or never
learned, the correct spelling of a word. The generalizations that exist are quite complex
and there are many exceptions leading to a considerable amount of rote learning. The
spelling system causes problems in both directions - a learner may know a word by
sound but not be able to write it correctly (or indeed find it in a dictionary), or they may
see a word written but not know how to pronounce it or mislearn the pronunciation.

[edit] Varieties of English

There are thriving communities of English native speakers in countries all over the
world, and this historical diaspora has led to some noticeable differences in
pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar in different countries, as well as those variations
which exist between different regions, and across the social strata, within the same
country. Even within the British Isles, there are significant regional language differences,
differences of (i) pronunciation/accent, (ii) vocabulary, and even (iii) grammar/dialect,
when the local dialect differs from that of another region or from the grammar of
'received English'.

The world holds over 7000 languages, and most exist within only a small geographic
area; even most of the top 100 are limited to a small number of countries or even a single
state. Some of the more well-known languages are to some degree managed by a
specific organisation that determines the most prestigious form of the language, e.g.
French language and the Academie de la langue franaise or Spanish language and the
Real Academia Espaola. Since many students of English study it to enable them to
communicate internationally, the lack of a uniform international standard for the
language poses some barriers to meeting that goal; see international English.

Teaching English therefore involves not only helping the student to use the form of
English most suitable for his purposes, but also exposure to other forms of English (e.g.
regional forms/ cultural styles) so that the student will be able to discern 'meaning' even
when the words/grammar/pronunciation may be quite different to the form of English
with which he has become more familiar.

[edit] Exams for learners

See also: Category:English language tests

Learners of English are often keen to get accreditation and a number of exams are
known internationally[7]:
Cambridge ESOL General English exams, a suite of five including First Certificate in
English (FCE), Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate of Proficiency in
English (CPE)
IELTS (International English Language Testing System), accepted by most tertiary
academic institutions in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and by many in
the USA.
Trinity College London ESOL offers several sets of exams: Graded Examinations in
Spoken English (GESE), a suite of twelve exams. Integrated Skills in English (ISE), a
suite of five exams. ESOL Skills for Life and ESOL for Work.
City and Guilds International ESOL and International Spoken ESOL on demand
examinations available at six levels: Preliminary, Access, Achiever, Communicator,
Expert and Mastery
London Tests of English from Pearson Language Tests, a series of six exams each
mapped to a level from the CEFR
Secondary Level English Proficiency test
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), an Educational Testing Service
product, developed and used primarily for academic institutions in the USA, and now
widely accepted in tertiary institutions in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and
Ireland. The current test is Internet based, and is known as the TOEFL iBT. Used as a
proxy for English for Academic Purposes.
TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication), an Educational Testing
Service product for Business English
TSE - Test of Spoken English
TWE - Test of Written English
Many countries also have their own exams. ESOL learners in England, Wales and
Northern Ireland usually take the national Skills for Life qualifications, which are offered
by several exam boards. EFL learners in China may take the College English Test. In
Greece English students may take the PALSO (PanHellenic Association of Language
School Owners) exams.

[edit] The Common European Framework

Between 1998 and 2000, the Council of Europe's language policy division developed
its Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The aim of this
framework was to have a common system for foreign language testing and certification,
to cover all European languages and countries.
The Common European Framework (CEF) divides language learners into three levels:
A. Basic User
B. Independent User
C. Proficient User

Each of these levels is divided into two sections, resulting in a total of six levels for
testing (A1, A2, B1, etc).
This table compares ELT exams according to the CEF levels:


Trinity Trinity
College College UBELT
Tests of
London London exam

C2 Level 5 Level 5


C1 Level 4 Level 4


Cambridge City
English Guilds

4.0 - 5.0




3.0 - 3.5

6.5 - 7

Higher CAE


701 910

236 - 275

B2 Level 3 Level 3

Grade 7ISE II

2.0 - 2.5


Vantage FCE

Commu 541 nicator 700

176 - 235

B1 Level 2 Level 2




3.5 - 4.5


Achieve 381 r

126 - 175

A2 Level 1 Level 1






Grade 2 n/a







Breakthr Level




Mastery 910+

246 380


96 - 125


The TOEIC and TOEFL exams are not part of the Common European framework, and
the CEF levels can only be approximately equated to scores in these test. The origin of
the scores in this table are uncertain.

[edit] Qualifications for teachers