SGI Language Course - Learner Assessment
Whether you are an individual who wants to learn Italian in preparation for a future holiday, or a company who needs to improve the Spanish language telephone skills of its sales team, we apply the same thorough diagnostic tools and procedures to establish the language starting point and achievable targets for the training of any individual or group.
1) Language placement test
Firstly we need to establish what we would call your general level of ability in the language you want to develop and improve. We have language tests on-line in SEVEN of the major languages:
We have language tests on-line in a range of major languages. Why not try one of these tests now by clicking on the language you are interested in.
2) Oral Interview
Whether face-to-face or by telephone, the next stage is to establish your ability to communicate in the language you want to focus on. A member of our academic team will interview you, deliberately making the questioning more challenging as the interview progresses to push you to your limit. If you are a company requesting us to arrange a full corporate language programme for your staff, one or more of our trainers will visit your premises to conduct an on-site skills audit including reading and writing tests, and an in depth oral interview with each participant.
3) Language starting point established
From the results of stages 1 & 2 we are then in a position to establish a starting point for your language course. Sometimes general ability (stage 1) and communicative ability (stage 2) are quite different; this is not uncommon in the UK where using a language still largely plays second fiddle to a more academic passive knowledge of a language.
So what are the levels?
Most people will be able to either label themselves in a basic way at a certain level of a language, for example elementary, intermediate etc. The broad levels that we deal with are:
Obviously, you would expect us to define these levels in some detail, that’s part of our job! To help us do this, and in turn enable you to see where you are more clearly, we use and have adapted, appropriately in view of the European languages we teach, something known as the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, abbreviated as CEFR – which relates to the above level descriptions as follows:
(CEFR label for this level)
|Very Advanced||C2||PROFICIENT USER|
THE CEFR is now widely recognized as the worldwide standard for grading an individual’s language proficiency. Not only does it add clarity to the process of leveling, but is internationally comparable. It sets up a series of descriptions of abilities which can be applied to any language.
The CEFR can also be applied to a range of language examinations for comparative purposes. The examinations framework table, currently being further refined by our pan-European association of quality language trainers, EAQUALS , along with ALTE shows you the CEFR being applied to prestigious language exams for all the major European languages. These language exams are devised and set by highly-regarded national organizations; for example: Instituto Cervantes ( the Spanish exams), Alliance Francaise ( French exams) and the Goethe Institute (German exams).