English language exams / certificates for French speakers

Hello everyone.

One of my students would like to study for a qualification in English which would be recognised internationally. I've heard about the 'Common European Framework' for languages and also the international English Language Testing system but I have no practical experience of either.

Does anyone have experience of an assessment tool to identify the right level for my student, and a distance learning course leading to an exam or test he could take?

One slight complication is that the course and testing would need to be possible without internet access because the student in question is in prison and thus has no internet access. I can of course print materials but any kind of interactive learning or testing is out of the question.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice

Hi Elain, now just read your posting after "pming" you - get stuck into the handbook and specific toiec related material - as much about exam technique and avoiding the traps as it is about english! ;-)

Take a look at the British Council website. They have a "test your level" section which will point the candidate towards, KET, PET, FCE, IELTS or other internationally accepted exams.

I only found that out this week :)

What would we do without both of you! I've been busy googling! My student's got a few years to do, yet, so the two yearly renewal might be a stumbling block, so maybe we'll try the Cambridge to start with and then do a TOEIC when he's closer to his release date :0) (although I might be retired by then!!)

ah what would we do with out you Catharine ;-)

you're showing me up again!

Hi Sarah

You can buy a 'preparing for the TOEIC' book and another package which includes tests both written and oral. The second one is just under 40€ and should imagine the first will be about the same.

There are preparation books which do help and give advice on exam technique. I haven't done any TOEIC teaching for a while as I'm no longer teaching at the CCI and the books were theirs - can't remember the names of them either, they were simply bought in with the whole package of being an examination centre. Try googling it ;-)

PS cambridge is a much better exam / tests students far more but everyone wants toiec (and it is only valid for 2 years so you come back and have to pay again!!!)

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of TOEIC, Andrew. I'd discovered the Cambridge certificate but it's very useful to now it's taken over from Cambridge et al..... I had been in touch with Cambridge who said in principle if we can provide invigilators it is possible to run the exam in the prison. Are there any materials you've used to help get people through the TOEIC?

Got me there because anything that's internationally recognised is usually done in a registered test centre - the leader at the moment being TOEIC for which most CCI are registered test centres. TOEIC has taken over from the Cambridge first certificate and others but perhaps there's something else out there that I haven't come across...