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How Do I measure a Good Command of English???


There are certyain areas within the public sector that have a large number of staff who do nit have English as their first language. Please don't say - get in touch with th Bassic Skills Agency or similar. Does anyone have any examples or information on How to measure what is being termed as - 'A good command of English'? It is starting to appear in job adverts and prior to my organisation joining the bandwagon I need an answer on how we do this. What is the national recognised standard - is there on? What if the indiviual was not educated in this country or doesn't have paper proof of education at the lowest level. I need an example that has been accepted as a standard based on evidence or Reading, Writing and Arithmatic. Please!!
keith bell

2 Responses

  1. common tests used
    I have tended to look for good scores on the International English Language Testing System ( or on the Test of English as a Foreign Language ( These are well established tests that are used by, for example, universities, in specifying a minimum standard needed in order to study in English. They may be suitable for your needs. Their websites give a breakdown of what the scores mean and what they test.

    Otherwise, if people come to you with no paper based qualification, you may like to conduct your own tests designed around your own organisation’s specific needs. In which case you would need to work with a qualified English as a Foreign Language/English for Speakers of Other Languages specialist with at least a Diploma in TEFL/TESOL or a Masters in Linguistics to put those tests together for you. There are a number of organisations that could link you to a suitable professional, such as the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (

    Hope this helps.

    David C Nicoll


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