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Fast-track your 12 to 16 year olds’ English language certification

English teacher Ana Isabel Vázquez talks about the new version of the Oxford Test of English designed specifically for younger students

Introducing Ana and her students

Teacher Ana Isabel Vázquez uses the Oxford Test of English, “to motivate my students to find the confidence to keep learning and using English.”

Nerea, 16, one of Ana’s students, says: “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.”

Now Ana is excited for a version of the University of Oxford certified test that is designed specifically for younger students – as she says, “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.”

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

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

Robin Lee, Senior Assessment Manager, Oxford University Press says, “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.”

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

It’s a change her 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,” says 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.”

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.”

To find out how to fast-track your 12 to 16 year olds’ English language certification click here.

Ana Isabel Vázquez teaches English at Colegio Nuestra Señora del Pila, in Madrid, Spain.

Images courtesy of OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS and Library
Ron Ragsdale
Ron Ragsdale
Ron was formerly Managing Editor of the EL Gazette. He gained his MA-TESOL at Portland State University in Oregon over 25 years ago, and has worked in ELT publishing ever since, with teaching stints in Istanbul and Cairo. In addition to managing teams at Pearson and Cambridge ELT, including as Publishing Director, Ron has worked with Ministries and local partners in over 30 countries.
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