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An English Test For Schools: Introducing Ana And Her Students

Ana and her studentsEarlier this year, Oxford University Press launched the Oxford Test of English for Schools – an online, English proficiency test recommended for 12-16-year-olds. It’s flexible, fast and available at Approved Test Centres worldwide. Plus, it’s the only proficiency test certified by the University of Oxford.

Teacher Ana Isabel Vázquez from Spain is excited for a version of the Oxford Test of English that has been designed especially for younger students – as she says, it’s “a test adapted to give them the best start on their English journey.”

“The younger we are able to test children’s English, the farther they will be able to take their language learning.”

She uses the Oxford Test of English for Schools to motivate her students, so they “find the confidence to keep learning and using English.” And it works!

An English test that motivates students!

Nerea, 16, one of Ana’s students, is proof: “English will help me get a job, go abroad, learn about other cultures, and be able to communicate with people around the globe. That’s fantastic.”

“It makes me so proud to see the students develop, learn, and feel more confident in how they use English to communicate.”

The Oxford Test of English for Schools assesses 12 to 16-year-olds’ abilities in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. The Listening and Reading modules are adaptive, so the difficulty adjusts in response to students’ answers, while the Speaking and Writing modules use task randomization.

This personalized experience makes the test shorter, less stressful, and more precise than traditional proficiency tests.

“Because a 12-year-old doesn’t want to write about work or finance,” Ana explains: “The Oxford Test of English for Schools will have content adapted to suit children’s interests and life experience. It’ll cover topics like free time and what they did at the weekend.”

A change students welcome

Veronica, 16, says: “We like to answer questions about friendship, free time, cinema, culture – things that affect all of society.”

“I like that I can speak English everywhere and most young people are going to understand me, which gives me the freedom to travel and know I’ll be understood,” adds Fernando, 16.

Like many institutions worldwide, Ana’s school, Colegio Nuestra Señora del Pila, has become an Oxford Test of English Approved Test Centre, meaning they can offer the test securely within their computer room.

“It only takes two hours, and the results are ready in 14 days, which makes everyone feel really comfortable and confident,” says Ana.

“My biggest hope is that the children maintain their English and use it throughout their lives. Our objective is to give them the ability to have a conversation, to be able to communicate – we don’t drill grammar here, we just want them to love English as much as we do!”

And it seems they already do. Maria, 16, says, “Knowing English helps me when I travel to other countries; for now, I can understand other cultures and communicate with people, but maybe speaking English will also help me get a job when I leave school.”

Opening Doors

Ana believes the Oxford Test of English is “a great starting point for showing future generations that they are our hope and that they can conquer the world. Being able to speak English will open doors for them and set them on their journey to success.”

 

Fast-track your 12 to 16-year-olds’ English language certification with the Oxford Test of English for Schools.

Learn how the test could benefit you and your students on our website.

Oxford Test of English for Schools

 

Like this? Now read: Watching students find success with the Oxford Test of English

Don’t forget to share this link to our Learning Resources Bank with your students – where they can find additional tips and support to guide them through their English learning journey.


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The Power Of Proficiency: How English Changed My Life

Valeria: "It has given me confidence."

Valeria, a 22-year-old computer engineer and programmer, first started learning English from her father at home in Costa Rica.

“He spent time in Canada and the States. But I think I’m better at English than him now – don’t tell him, though!”

English proficiency for a brighter future

Her father saw the opportunities that can come from learning English during his travels overseas, and now Valeria has seen them firsthand too. “I have better job opportunities, and I get paid more because I can prove I have a great level of English.”

This became clearer when she landed her dream job — working for a company whose headquarters are based in Atlanta, making English language skills a must for any member of staff. “Most of our clients and vendors are in Atlanta, so we have to use English every day.” Luckily, she was able to get her B2 certificate while at university. Knowing she could prove that she had a good level of English gave Valeria the confidence to apply for the role in the first place.

It was all made possible when her professor arranged for her class to sit the Oxford Test of English at the end of their course. She found the experience of taking the online test quite relaxing and was able to complete all the modules in two hours. And, unlike other English proficiency tests, the students didn’t have to learn a particular way to answer the questions, which Valeria appreciated.

“I could focus on my English instead of learning how to take a test.”

It also didn’t hurt when she learnt that her Oxford Test of English certificate is valid for life.

“Whenever I need evidence of my English proficiency, I can show my Oxford Test of English certificate. You can use it for business or travelling – the possibilities are endless. It’s amazing for anyone who needs to prove they have a good level of English.”

Like Francisco, for example – a Mechanical Engineering Student & Basketball Coach from Spain.

Proving English proficiency to study abroad

Francisco: "It takes just two hours."Francisco needed to prove he had a B2 level of English when he was applying to spend a year studying abroad in Finland, as all his classes there were in English.

Once he arrived, he found his English also came in handy when he was socialising too, as not that many of the locals or other foreign students spoke Spanish.

 

“I realized that if you can speak English, you can communicate nearly everywhere you go.”

Just like Valeria, Francisco certified his English level with the Oxford Test of English, and also enjoyed the fact that it was online and adaptive.

“The structure of the test is great; it adapts to your ability, getting harder or easier depending on your answers. It’s nice because you’re being tested during the whole exam.”

So would he recommend it?

“Yes, absolutely! The test takes just two hours, and then the certificate endorsed by the University of Oxford stays with you and remains useful for your whole life. It’s ideal for people who need to prove to a company they can operate in English, and it looks great on a CV.”

Not to mention, it helped open the doors to a once in a lifetime experience of studying in Finland –

“I think it was probably the best period of my life. It was just four months, but they were so special. I travelled around the Nordic countries and Russia and met people I’d never meet in any other situation. I’m so glad I was there – and all because of the Oxford Test of English!”

 

You can read other students’ success stories and find out more about the Oxford Test of English on our website.

Find out more

Don’t forget to share this link to our Learning Resources Bank with your students – where they can find additional tips and support to guide them through their English learning journey.


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#qskills – Could you recommend useful tips for teaching writing skills?

Today’s question for the Q: Skills for Success authors: Could you recommend useful tips for teaching writing skills?

Joe McVeigh responds.

We are no longer taking questions. Thank you to everyone who contacted us!

Look out for more responses by the Q authors in the coming weeks, or check out the answers that we’ve posted already in our Questions for Q authors playlist.


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#qskills – Would it help if I taught phonetics symbols in the mother tongue?

Today’s question for the Q: Skills for Success authors: Would it help if I taught phonetics symbols in the mother tongue?

Tamara Jones responds.

We are no longer taking questions. Thank you to everyone who contacted us!

Look out for more responses by the Q authors in the coming weeks, or check out the answers that we’ve posted already in our Questions for Q authors playlist.


11 Comments

#qskills – How can I teach a class where there is a huge gap in language proficiency among the students?

Today’s question for the Q: Skills for Success authors: How can I teach a class where there is a huge gap in language proficiency among the students?

Colin Ward responds.

We are no longer taking questions. Thank you to everyone who contacted us!

Look out for more responses by the Q authors in the coming weeks, or check out the answers that we’ve posted already in our Questions for Q authors playlist.