European Framework of Reference for Languages

Language Assessment in Recruitment Process

Do you know what the level of English proficiency at your company is?
Is language testing part of your Talent Acquisition process? How can you, identify and determine whether it needs to be improved?

Assessment of language learning can be either to measure the employee’s proficiency in the language or it measure the result in case the employee has participated in a training program. For specific positions, it is required to have a mandatory language assessment during the Talent Acquisition process.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) is frequently used as guideline to describe six reference levels (see below) widely accepted as the European standard for grading employee’s language proficiency.

It was put together by the Council of Europe and provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. It describes in a comprehensive way what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively. The description also covers the cultural context in which language is set. The Framework also defines levels of proficiency which allow learners’ progress to be measured at each stage of learning and on a life-long basis.”

Principles of language requirement per job role

If in your company, you would like to assess language levels, you need to define the language requirement per job position. To start this exercise, it would be recommended to define first the language principles and then set the language level per job. For example:

♦ Best practice will lead to “optimise”  the language requirement, not “minimise”. This means in practice that perhaps for mainly transactional jobs knowledge of local language may not be needed. Language needs can be covered by the use of language translation tools such as “cheat sheets”.

♦ Any roles that are client facing will rightly demand strong local language skills.

 

European Framework of Reference for Languages

These descriptors can apply to any of the languages spoken in Europe and there are translations in many languages available.

For more information, please also read Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, by the Council of Europe. 

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