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Cambridge English worked in partnership with Anna University and EBEK Language Laboratories in an innovative project to improve the English language skills of students and enhance their career prospects.
Anna University outsourced its language testing and course development to Cambridge English and EBEK, which allows students’ Business English skills to be mapped to international standards.
As part of this project, Anna University introduced Business Language Testing Service (BULATS). Students at the University’s affiliated colleges follow a business English language syllabus developed for Anna University by EBEK Language Laboratories. The Business Language Testing Service standard test (Reading and Listening) is then taken at the end of the first semester and the Writing and Speaking tests taken at the end of the second semester.
The scores for the Business Language Testing Service tests are incorporated into students’ university transcripts and successful students receive a joint test report from Anna University and Cambridge English.
English language teachers received training from EBEK to familiarise them with the new syllabus and teaching methods. EBEK and Cambridge English also worked with the university to train examiners for the Writing and Speaking tests.
In the first year around 19,000 candidates took the Business Language Testing
Service tests and over 70,000 students from colleges affiliated with Anna
University have now used the programme to improve their business English.
Anna University’s Vice-Chancellor, R Radhakrishnan, said that outsourcing an entire subject had been a unique project for the country and that students would benefit from the practical approach and real-life language skills gained from preparing for their Business Language Testing Service test: “When students enter colleges, the level of English knowledge they possess is not known.
Also English is restricted to classrooms. Sometimes the subject itself is taught in Tamil. Teachers have to play an important role in doing away with this practice. The outsourced subject will involve a practical approach.”