Since its foundation in 1943, The Anglo Mexican Foundation has expanded its educational and cultural activities and is now one of the largest providers of English language training in Mexico. It has a long-standing relationship with Cambridge English, going back to its early days, and was the first centre in the country to offer all of its products.
As part of the organisation, the Anglo Centre for Professional Development and Assessment (CPDA) provides language assessment to individuals, schools and institutions through a network of centres and representatives in Mexico and Guatemala. Using a full range of Cambridge English Qualifications and tests it delivers certification and testing for children, students, business people and teachers.
Mexico is seeing a growing demand for English language skills in both business and education, a trend that the Anglo is helping meet.
‘We fully believe in the positive impact of learning English on people’s lives and the potential it offers to help them develop,’ says Ileana Franco, Manager, International Exams Centre, The Anglo Mexican Foundation. ‘We’re dedicated to assisting the wider spread of English language skills, whether written, spoken or reading.’
Delivering faster testing within higher education
One of the key areas for English testing is within public universities, where students taking courses in areas such as business and engineering require proof of their language skills in order to graduate. Much of this testing is still carried out manually, adding to administration time and expense for universities, and delaying results for students.
Thanks to the combination of this increasing market need and the Anglo’s deep relationship with Cambridge English it was therefore one of the first organisations to adopt Linguaskill and to offer it to its clients.
Linguaskill removes the need for paper-based testing, delivering a fast, adaptive online test, based on the CEFR standard and Cambridge’s experience and reputation in language learning.
The first of the Anglo CPDA’s clients to use Linguaskill is the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), which was part of the test’s global trial programme in 2016, moving to it completely in 2017. The largest and oldest university in the state of Puebla, BUAP has over 65,000 students across a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, the sciences, accounting, law and trade. Every year, all students from BUAP require confirmation of an English assessment before they graduate. Over 1,500 have already been tested with Linguaskill to assess their English skills in reading and listening at the end of their degree course, with interest in taking the tests constantly increasing.
‘While Linguaskill is a new solution, it meets a big market need for our customers, especially in higher education,’ continues Ileana Franco. ‘Thanks to using Linguaskill, universities are able to conduct tests more easily and flexibly, putting them in control of the process and making it more efficient and effective. Through its powerful reporting and Cambridge’s reputation it gives trusted results, faster.’
In the case of BUAP, it is able to set its own time schedule for tests, rather than relying on timetables set by external providers, while also benefiting from the fact that Linguaskill is easy to administer, with minimal training required. The University also appreciates the rapid results delivered after testing, the thorough reporting and the backing of the Cambridge name on the test report forms that students receive. As Linguaskill uses adaptive testing, every student has an individualised experience, ensuring that it matches their language level.
One product, a wide range of uses
‘We fully believe in the positive impact of learning English on people’s lives and the potential it offers to help them develop’
Given the success of BUAP, the Anglo is now working closely with Cambridge English to introduce Linguaskill to more public higher education institutions, creating awareness of its benefits. This collaboration includes providing trials of the reading and listening modules to universities, helping to demonstrate Linguaskill’s ease of use and efficiency.
However, the Anglo has also identified that Linguaskill has multiple other uses alongside higher education. For example, within business it can be used to quickly check a specific level of English competency – something that companies involved in bidding with international partners increasingly require. It can also be offered to those studying English through corporate classes offered by the Anglo, providing a proof of current level that is simple to administer and valuable to students and businesses alike.
Within the wider market, the Anglo is also investigating introducing it inside its own language centres. Currently students take exams at set points on these courses, but these can follow an annual or longer schedule. By using Linguaskill between these exams, students will be able to track their progress, encouraging them to move onwards and continue learning.
Additionally, for educational institutions that traditionally have not taken external language exams due to cost concerns, Linguaskill can provide independent proof in an efficient, simple-to-administer programme.
‘We see an increasing number of ways that we can use Linguaskill to help our customers, whether they are universities, businesses or simply those learning English independently,’ concludes Ileana Franco. ‘It is such a powerful tool that we expect its usage to grow across the Anglo in the coming years.’
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