The British Council has released its latest English proficiency assessment tool, Aptis, to the UAE market to help companies test the competency of their employees’ English.
Aptis is a test for adults which can be used to assess ability in four English skills including speaking, listening, reading and writing. It can also be customised to test one or more specific skills, allowing organisations to assess factors relevant to their needs.
The content of Aptis can also be adapted to suit a specific domain, such as for teaching or travel and tourism, the British Council said in a statement.
Philip Rylah, director, Examinations MENA, said: “Companies are increasingly driving demand for English in the region, and this is in particular the case for multinationals.
“Industries such as IT and software development, maritime and airfreight, telecommunications, banking and finance, as well as tourism and hospitality have the highest need for English-speaking employees.
“Three quarters of English speakers today are second language speakers and half of employees in international companies globally use English every day at work,” he added.
Aptis uses an interactive platform which develops, manages, delivers and monitors the test simultaneously.
The platform also allows organisations to administer the test themselves. It can be delivered by computer, telephone, or pen and paper, and results are available in 24 hours.
The marking system of Aptis is task-based, meaning that in one task, several people in different locations around the world mark different items within the test, all through the online platform.
The business-to-business assessment service is available only to organisations, not individuals.
Andrew Mackenzie, head of Assessment Services at the British Council, said: “The British Council is a world authority in the English language. We work across a wide range of English teaching and assessment services, as well as with ministries of education to improve the English language teaching in education institutions around the world.”
The British Council already has existing language tests such as IELTS, ESOL and IDP: IELTS Australia.