ESPERANTO AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
The Centre for Advanced Language Learning has been administering bilingual Esperanto examinations for decades and besides it has also created a monolingual examination system, which has four levels at present. The new system has been worked out for the following levels:
- A2 Waystage User
- B1 Threshold User
- B2 Independent User
- C1 Competent User
ADMINISTERING THE EXAMINATION AND MARKING
Administering the examination
"Esperanto as a second language" examinations will be administered 2-5 times a year in a manner and at times defined by the examination centre. The written examinations are administered in the centre and the other locations involved at the same time. A printed monolingual dictionary can be used at the examination.
All types of examinations are administered by qualified examiners who take part in regular training, and who are included in the official list of examiners issued by the examination centre. The language examination has two parts: an oral examination assessing speaking skills and listening comprehension (this includes a separately administered written task used to assess listening comprehension through texts played from a tape) and a written examination assessing reading comprehension and writing skills).
The oral examination is administered by a committee of three examiners. The oral examinations are administered in the examination centre and remote locations and every person included in the list of the examination centre and fulfilling the criteria is entitled to act as an examiner. The listening comprehension task, which is a separate part of the oral examination, is marked by the third examiner who does not play an active role in the structured conversation.
The written examinations are administered in the examination centre and the locations under the supervision of qualified personnel. The task sheets have different colours at the different levels and may include photos and visual aid. The task sheets do not name the sources of authentic or partly edited texts but the examination centre keeps a record of these. The remote locations send the collected written exam papers to the centre under strict security measures. The staff of the centre mark the written papers. The set of the tasks in the written examination is marked by two examiners (each individual task is reviewed by only one examiner), who discuss the paper when the results of the individual tasks are added together.
Supervision of the oral and the written examinations
The oral and the written examinations are checked at random by the third person of the examining committee who does not take part actively in the structured conversations. The papers that have been marked are also regularly checked at random and the marks may be changed. The centre notifies the examiner about the results of the supervision
The results of the oral and the written examination are added up to arrive at the final result of the examination. The oral and written examination together make up a so-called compound examination. The oral exam and the written exam can be taken separately as well. In all cases the candidates must reach at least 60% in order to pass and their performance cannot be under 40% at the any of tasks measuring the different skills. The result, accordingly, is determined on a pass/fail basis.
The candidates can receive preliminary - not official - information personally or through the telephone information service and on the separate website of the examination centre by giving the - confidential - identification code they were given when they applied for the examination.
The written examination papers do not bear the name of the examinee and a code number is attached to them randomly generated by a computer, which means that the candidate will be anonymous to the examiners. The administration of the examinations is carefully monitored by specially trained personnel. The Centre for Advanced Language Learning regularly checks the accredited and registered locations, with special attention to professional and ethical aspects as well as security regulations.
Throughout the whole process of the examination - from preliminary testing to assessment and administrative functions - the examination centre adheres to the principles of quality assurance and makes sure that the location also adhere to them.