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Linguaskill is helping to boost employability and increase language proficiency skills around the world. Nisreen Ash (pictured) from Cambridge University Press & Assessment says new research shows the positive impact Linguaskill is having on people’s lives.
“Linguaskill has been taken over a million times since it was launched in 2018. It’s a quick online English test that uses cutting-edge technology to check the English levels of individuals and groups of candidates.
We wanted to find out what impact Linguaskill is having on people’s career prospects and skills development in the real world. So, a team of researchers from Cambridge set out to discover what actual difference the test had made to the lives of candidates. We approached people who had taken Linguaskill at least one month before, which gave them enough time to settle and reflect, so they could accurately report back on the experience. We received 684 responses from 59 countries, which helped us paint a really rich picture of the impact Linguaskill is having on a global scale. We also spoke to higher education institutions and employers who recognise Linguaskill results to find out what they thought too. Here’s what we found out.
It was clear that Linguaskill was having a positive impact on employability skills with 72% saying that taking the test had helped them progress in their careers. This was great to discover because good employability skills are more crucial than ever, when you consider how competitive the job market is around the world. We also discovered that 80% of candidates found that preparing for Linguaskill had made them feel confident about using English at work.
Lots of candidates around the world take Linguaskill to help them progress in their education. In fact, universities use the test for course placement, progress measurement and graduation. That’s why it was great to hear that 74% of candidates surveyed said that preparing for Linguaskill had made them feel confident about using English at university. 74% also said that Linguaskill helped them to progress to the next level in their studies.
Although the focus of the research was on employability and study skills, we also found out that preparing for the test helped to boost candidates’ English skills more generally. It was great to discover that 64% of candidates told us that preparing for Linguaskill had improved their language proficiency.
The study also found there was an appetite to learn more about how this type of testing technology works behind the scenes. I think this was because, for the majority of people, they are used to paper-based exams, and they expect a computer-based exam to be similar. However multilevel testing is very different. Linguaskill uses adaptive algorithms which mean that every test is tailored to measure each candidates’ proficiency level in listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Let’s look at this in more detail.
When candidates take Linguaskill, the first question is at an intermediate level, and their response will determine whether the next question will be more challenging or easier. Then depending on the candidate's subsequent answers, the questions will become either more difficult or easier. So Linguaskill is designed to keep selecting questions based on the individual’s proficiency level, until the test accurately measures the candidate's level of proficiency. The Speaking and Writing modules are also very clever, as they use a high-tech AI auto-marking feature which reduces reliance on human examiners.
At Cambridge, a big part of our vision is to deliver solutions that teachers and learners need to ensure they achieve their potential. This is the driving force behind this type of impact research. It’s important to remember that when people choose any reliable English language test or educational solution, it’s quite an emotional and financial investment and they definitely want to know whether the test is right for them.
So, I’d recommend potential Linguaskill candidates look at this study and find out more about the experience from people who have already taken it and learn about how it has helped them improve their confidence and access better employment opportunities. And of course, the employers and other organisations who rely on Linguaskill results can benefit from this study by finding out more about how the test has helped people progress in their careers and feel more confident in using English at work.
This study was a great way of understanding the social impact Linguaskill is having on people’s lives in the real world. The findings around employability were really important, because English in the workplace is such an important topic for both individuals and employers. As well as recommending people take Linguaskill to find out their level of English, we’ve also developed a free workplace English tool which helps HR professionals and hiring managers determine the level of English required for a job role.
I think it was clear that whether Linguaskill was being taken for work or study purposes, the test had a really positive impact on people’s lives. We were able to show that many candidates who had taken Linguaskill had progressed in their career, their studies and improved their overall English language proficiency. This is a very exciting set of findings which made the whole study very rewarding”.