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English World

 "In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public.
Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody." (Oscar Wilde)


The world conquered by the English language

English is indisputably an international language. The common language for more than one billion people is now English. In every continent English is spoken as a national or official language. Yet the probability that you will communicate with a native speaker of English is much lower than the chance you will communicate with a non-native speaker. Thinking in this way, English becomes an ‘intercultural’ language. Some students are naturally motivated by the challenge of learning English vocabulary and grammar, but a substantially larger number are motivated by the attraction of English as a means of communication with people of many other cultures.

Demands for intercultural communication skills are therefore increasing as more and more businesses create a global presence. Certain practices or guidelines can help prevent misperceptions and conflicts between different cultural groups. Listening without judging, repeating and confirming what is understood and giving suggestions are just a few examples of these rules. Respect, in all cultures throughout the world, is a common ‘language’ and by earning it through respecting.

 

British Council all over the world

The British Council offers a wide range of services in the areas of education and training related to the English world. It encourages UK creativity through art showcases and excellence in scientific research, creating new bonds of collaboration between the UK and other host countries.

 

Certifications

More and more people ask for a certification in order to enable them to verify their language skills. Employers, schools and public organisations rely on Cambridge English exams as they are internationally recognised. The British Council offers ELT (English Teaching Language) via the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or any of the ESOL Cambridge exams.

KET (Key English Test) is the Cambridge ESOL exam which recognises the ability to deal with everyday written and spoken English at a basic level.


PET (Preliminary English Test) is a certificate for people who can use everyday written and spoken English at an intermediate level.


FCE (First Certificate in English) is aimed at people who can use everyday written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level. It is an ideal exam for people who want to use English for work or study purposes.


CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) is an exam for advanced users of English. This exam is aimed at people who can use written and spoken English for most professional and social purposes. It is widely recognised for work or study purposes.


CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) is Cambridge ESOL's most advanced exam. It is aimed at people who can use English for professional or study purposes.



IELTS exams

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. IELTS tests are guaranteed to show your true ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking, in a way that is relevant to the real world. Over 8,000 institutions all over the world, including 2,000 US universities recognise IELTS. IELTS is also used as proof of your language ability for immigration purposes and is recognised by the Council of Europe.

http://www.ielts.org/default.aspx


Common European Framework of Reference

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) provides a basis for the mutual recognition of all formal language qualifications, thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility.
CEFR Levels

CEFR Levels

A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2

IELTS score

(2.5-3.5)

3.5-4.5

4.5-5.5

5.5–6.5

6.5-7.5

7.5–9.0

CESOL

- KET PET FCE CAE CPE

 

 Generally the below statements describe what the student can typically do with the language at different levels and in different contexts (general, social & tourist, work, study).


LEVELS

Listening/Speaking

Reading

Writing

A1

CAN understand basic instructions or take part in a basic factual conversation on a predictable topic.

CAN understand basic notices, instructions or information.

CAN complete basic forms, and write notes including times, dates and places.

A2

CAN express simple opinions or requirements in a familiar context.

CAN understand straightforward information within a known area, such as on products and signs and simple textbooks or reports on familiar matters.

CAN complete forms and write short simple letters or postcards related to personal information.

B1

CAN express opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area, and understand instructions or public announcements.

CAN understand routine information and articles, and the general meaning of non-routine information within a familiar area.

CAN write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.

B2

CAN follow or give a talk on a familiar topic or keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics.

CAN scan texts for relevant information, and understand detailed instructions or advice.

CAN make notes while someone is talking or write a letter including non-standard requests.

C1

CAN contribute effectively to meetings and seminars within own area of work or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract expressions.

CAN read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information or to understand non-standard correspondence.

CAN prepare/draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay which shows an ability to communicate.

C2

CAN advise on or talk about complex or sensitive issues, understanding colloquial references and dealing confidently with hostile questions.

CAN understand documents, correspondence and reports, including the finer points of complex texts.

CAN write letters on any subject and full notes of meetings or seminars with good expression and accuracy.


 

Universities usually require B1 or B2 for undergraduate admission and B2 or C1 for postgraduate admission, however those levels will vary depending on the individual institution.

Apart from the Cambridge ESOL certifications there are other organisations and colleges that provide the English level assessments comprised of the GMAT, TOEIC, TOEFL, BULLATS and the Trinity College Exams.

Within the Trinity College certifications:

The GESE (Graded Examinations in Spoken English) exams test a candidates ability in listening and speaking. They are one-to-one oral examinations with a native English-speaking Trinity examiner who travels from the UK.

ISE (Trinity's Integrated Skills in English) examinations assess all four language skills – Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading – interacting with each other as they do in the real world.

SEW (Spoken English for Work) prepares candidates for the real world of work by providing valuable practice in telephone conversations, formal and informal presentations and an opportunity to discuss real work issues in an English-speaking environment.

http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=263

Young Learners also have the possibility to receive a certification from Cambridge:
Starters, Movers and Flyers from Cambridge ESOL is for children between 7 and 9 years of age who have already had some English lessons in their kindergarten or school. This test is below A1 Level of Common European Framework of languages.
http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/yle/index.html

 

Many Italian schools today use CLIL methods in their teaching:

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) involves students learning subjects such as science or geography through the medium of a foreign language. Other related terms include ‘Content-based instruction', ‘English across the curriculum', and ‘Bilingual education'. CLIL is sometimes referred to as dual-focused education as lessons have two main aims, one related to a particular subject or topic and one linked to language.

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/clil

 

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