Learning “real-life” English skills and getting certified in Spain with LanguageCert
LanguageCert, 14 April 2022
Dr. Ángel Galdón Rodríguez – Associate Professor, Modern and English Philology, University of Castilla La Mancha; Professor – Central Idiomas Parque language school and examination centre, Albacete
Improving the level of English language competence in Spain today – for university students, professionals and school-age children – is key to stand out. So, getting an English certification is imperative among students looking for a job, entering academia or migrating in the EU’s Schengen Area or worldwide.
But, when choosing a course and English language exam, what do students really need in terms of real-life communications skills?
Understanding language as a complex skill
Historically, exams have embraced formal, theoretical material lacking in practicality and expected students to adapt. In reality, it is the exams that need to evolve. At the heart of the LanguageCert exam is identifying real life communication settings and life beyond the exam.
Communication comprises active and passive interactions, and both are equally important. Developing an active capability to write and speak a language go hand in hand with the passive skills of listening and reading. A comprehensive course needs to equip students with the tools they need to increase their capacity to excel in both these areas.
Language is an organic skill and – like all skills in life – we develop and learn at our own pace. Students need to work on the four linguistic skills to reach a balance in communication, whatever their level. How each student develops these language skills and the speed at which they do this, will differ.
Widening participation and the success of the LanguageCert International ESOL exam
The LanguageCert exam responds to the complex requirements of students today and helps them adapt to real-life environments. After completing the exam, students gain more practical language skills that can help them in live situations.
The listening element of the test, for example, considers challenging situations where different people are talking simultaneously. With reading comprehension, the nature of the text is wide, including content such as magazine articles, Trip Advisor opinions, Wikipedia and Facebook posts. This ensures students are prepared for real-life communications that are varied, unpredictable and include colloquial language.
When testing the production of language, the exam focuses on organisation and clarity – putting across a point and adapting communication style to different people, including strangers, friends and formal acquaintances. The exam is designed in a way that it opens the world and widens students’ capabilities from booking a hotel room to participating in a debate.
Other advantages of the LanguageCert exam
The extensive amount of preparation material provided ensures students are confident and know exactly what they need to do in the exam. Students are given their own comfortable “station” in the test centre where they manage and self-time their own exam.
Results are delivered quickly within 14 days and, if needed, students can retake individual modules online. With a recent pass rate of 98%, however, it’s rare that students need to retake anything.