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ESOL International qualifications – opportunities for ESOL learners following Brexit

Tes.com, the global education organisation supporting teachers and educational organisations around the world, recently published an article highlighting the need for a new ESOL strategy following Brexit, which could, with the support of ESB International, provide opportunities for your ESOL learners to further develop their English language skills.

If your learners are progressing from ESOL Skills for Life qualifications at Entry 3, Level 1 or Level 2, ESB has an ESOL International qualification suitable for them.

English Speaking Board (International) Ltd. offers four Ofqual-regulated ESOL International qualifications at B1, B2, C1 and C2 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The CEFR is used all over Europe and internationally as a framework for learning, teaching and assessment.

These four qualifications are suitable for learners who wish to improve their level of general English for personal, academic or professional reasons, and achieve a high-quality, internationally recognised qualification at the CEFR level appropriate to them and their educational circumstances.

CEFR Levels B1-C2 and mini tests

ESOL Skills for Life and ESOL International assessments differ, therefore there is not necessarily a direct progression that is the same for every learner. Please read the information below and encourage your learners to try out our mini-tests to see which test is the most appropriate level!

I have completed:You should try:
ESOL Skills for Life Entry 3ESOL International B1 or B2
ESOL Skills for Life Level 1ESOL International B2 or C1
ESOL Skills for Life Level 2ESOL International C1 or C2

ESB Entry Level Certificate in ESOL International All Modes (Entry 3) (B1)
B1 learners can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest; describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans*.

If learners have achieved ESOL Skills for Life Entry 3 or Level 1 Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing Awards, then they should try this B1 mini sample assessment here.

ESB Level 1 Certificate in ESOL International All Modes (B2)
B2 learners can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options*.

If learners have achieved ESOL Skills for Life Entry 3 or Level 1 Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing Awards, then they should try this B2 mini sample assessment here.

ESB Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International All Modes (C1)
C1 learners can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes, and produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.*

If learners have achieved ESOL Skills for Life Level 1 or Level 2 Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing Awards, then they should try this C1 mini sample assessment here.

ESB Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International All Modes (C2)
C2 learners can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read and express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.*

If learners have achieved ESOL Skills for Life Level 2 Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing Awards, then they should try this C2 mini sample assessment here.

Features of the ESOL International qualifications

  • They are appropriate for teenagers and adults.
  • They encourage progression and measure learners’ attainment as they move through the CEFR levels on their learning journey.
  • There are five sections: Listening, Reading, Use of English and Writing are tested in one written paper, and there is a Speaking assessment taken in pairs.
  • Each section is worth 20% of the final mark, i.e. the final mark is a combination of four skills and Use of English.
  • All the sections are available online and can be completed in the learner’s home or in centre based IT facilities.
  • The Listening, Reading and Use of English sections are tested through multiple choice questions.
  • There are three Pass grades – Pass, Merit and Distinction.
  • ESB Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International All Modes (C2) carries UCAS points – 12 for a Pass, 24 for Merit and 36 for a Distinction.
  • Speaking assessments are taken in pairs, with an assessor and an interlocutor.
  • Marking and assessing is by ESB International and subject to ESB International quality assurance processes.

*Table 1. Common Reference Levels: global scale in Council of Europe. (2001). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge, U.K: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, p.24.

For more information on ESB International ESOL International qualifications please contact busdev@esbuk.org.

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