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Products and Services
Our innovative products and services for learners, authors and customers are based on world-class research and are relevant, exciting and inspiring.
We unlock the potential of millions of people worldwide. Our assessments, publications and research spread knowledge, spark enquiry and aid understanding around the world.
No matter who you are, what you do, or where you come from, you’ll feel proud to work here.
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The English Impact Framework provides the structure and foundation for all our impact work. By using the framework, we ensure that our Cambridge English products deliver real benefits by:
Our extensive programme of impact research involves proactively collecting impact data which we use as part of a process of continuous improvement. These activities follow the Cambridge English Impact by Design model that we have pioneered and advocated since 1996.
Careful analysis of the impact of our products is used to support a cycle of continuous improvement. This research-backed approach is how we improve and revise our existing products to ensure they have the maximum positive impact possible.
For example, research with universities and teachers ahead of the most recent revision of the C1 Advanced exam identified the need for greater focus on academic skills. This led to the introduction of a new reading task which better reflects the kind of tasks students would typically be asked to do at university.
Similarly, research into the changing needs of learners, teachers, and parents supported the revision of the Pre-A1 Starters, A1 Movers, and A2 Flyers exams and the introduction of more detailed feedback on performance. This has helped teachers and parents to better understand the learning needs of students and target teaching accordingly.
The English impact framework has three impact domains covering learning, teaching, and assessment, and each domain is subdivided into a number of impact areas.
We carry out research into all of these impact areas in a variety of contexts. For example: learner motivation, the development of language proficiency and life competencies, and teacher confidence. The focus of our impact inquiry often goes across the three impact domains.
For example, ‘the effects of assessment on language learning and development’ investigates the relationship between assessment and learning, as well as related teaching practices.
We have also developed impact indicators that help us to understand and obtain proof of our impact in the short, medium, and long-term. Using these impact indicators helps us to maintain a consistent and reliable approach to what and how we measure impact.
This generates data that is useful for us to understand how we change the lives of learners and teachers and support the organisations we work with. We also use this data to evaluate the efficacy of our assessments and learning resources and to provide evidence that helps our customers make informed choices.
The impact indicators measure the areas that affect individuals (e.g. learners, teachers, and test takers) and organisations (e.g. schools, test centres, higher education institutes, and employers). For example, the percentage of learners who meet the intended CEFR level at the end of a course. Or in the longer term, those who report a tangible gain that helped them in their future study or work.
How we measure (e.g., surveys, interviews, exam performance data) depends on the indicator. For example, we might investigate the percentage of teachers who report increased self-confidence in their ability to use English in the classroom through a survey; or the number of institutions reporting improvement in teacher confidence over a longer period by interviewing key stakeholders in these institutions at yearly intervals.
While impact indicators can reveal broad trends across a range of contexts, impact research studies provide an opportunity to gather more detailed data on learning, teaching, and assessment in their specific contexts. The English Impact Framework is founded on three main inter-related actions, collectively referred to as MER: Measure, Evidence, Report.
How we measure:
Our impact measurement research design depends on the questions we seek answers for. Here is a sample impact question:
Our impact evidence is based on data collected from a range of sources.
Impact evidence requires access to data collected from credible sources. For example, automated product statistics, data collection methods described above, research studies.
We analyse the impact data using a range of methods:
We produce detailed research reports at the end of each Impact Study we carry out. The reports are used as part of our process of continuous improvement, and in the design of new learning, teaching, and assessment products.
The full reports are shared with the institutions which work with us on the study. We also publish the reports in our journal Research Notes.
Read examples of our Impact Studies
The English Impact Framework draws on published research in second language acquisition, learning, pedagogy, assessment validity and validation, impact by design and learning-oriented assessment.
Cambridge English (2016) Principles of Good Practice: Research and innovation in language learning research, Cambridge: Cambridge English.
Cambridge English (2018) Cambridge English Teaching Framework
Cambridge University Press (2020) Cambridge Life Competencies Framework, available online: Languageresearch.cambridge.org/clc and Cambridge Life Competencies Framework
Cambridge University Press (no date) Principles of Language Learning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment English (no date) Empower. What Impact Could It Have for You?
Clapham, C (1996) The Development of IELTS: A study of the effect of background knowledge on reading comprehension, Studies in Language Testing volume 4, Cambridge: UCLES/Cambridge University Press.
Global Partnership for Education GPE Impact
Guskey, T R (2002) Five Critical Levels of Professional Development Evaluation
Laureate International Universities Global Impact Snapshot
OECD (2018) TALIS – The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey
OECD (2020) What matters for language learning? The Questionnaire Framework for the PISA 2025 Foreign Language Assessment, Paris: OECD.
Saville, N (2009) Developing a model for investigating the impact of language assessment within educational contexts by a public examination provider, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Bedfordshire.
Saville, N (2021) Learning-oriented assessment: Basic concepts and frameworks in using assessment to support language learning, in Gebril, A (Ed) Learning-Oriented Language Assessment: Putting Theory into Practice, New York: Routledge, 13–33.
Saville, N and Khalifa, H (2016) The impact of language assessment, in Tsagari, D and Banerjee, J (Eds) Handbook of Second Language Assessment, Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 77–94.
Weir, C J (2005) Language Testing and Validation: An Evidence-based Approach, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.