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Cambridge English Language Assessment
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Cambridge Assessment English has developed a custom-made programme of language assessment for the State Government of Gujarat, India as part of a programme aimed at providing its workforce with English skills for the international marketplace.
As part of the BRIC group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), India has continued to experience economic growth, with its skilled workforce making it popular with foreign investors.
It has become therefore vital for Indian companies to have the right language skills to compete for international business. However, while students and professionals in India have good technical skills, many lack the relevant level of English language and struggle in the job market.
The state government in Gujarat responded to this challenge with an initiative to raise the level of English among students and the workforce. They created the Society for the Creation of Opportunities through Proficiency in English (SCOPE) to manage the project and appointed Cambridge Assessment English to fulfil the assessment requirements. Learning centres were set up across the state to provide specially developed English courses.
Cambridge Assessment English produced the Gujarat English Language Test to assess ability at pre-A1 Level to Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). More able candidates are offered Cambridge English Language Assessment’s Cambridge Placement Test (CPT) or the Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) which assesses up to Level C2 . All candidates taking up the GELT/CPT or BULATS also take up the BULATS Online Speaking test, thereby providing candidates a comprehensive assessment of all four skills.
Linking the SCOPE programme tests to the CEFR allows learners to approach employers with a language qualification linked to an internationally recognised standard for describing language ability.
The tests are subsidised by the government and are available to all members of the public. To ensure value for money, Cambridge Assessment English localised many of the operational processes, reducing running costs and enabling savings to be passed on to learners.
Since its launch in 2007, over 120,000 people have taken Gujarat English Language Test with SCOPE. Results are encouraging, with almost 50% of candidates reaching the highest level, A2.