The Importance of a Writing Proficiency Assessment

Are your employees or potential candidates in need of a writing proficiency assessment? Many candidates come to corporations offering language skills in multiple languages. How do you know, however, if those skills will match the needs of your company? Competing in a global market place – or even just domestically – requires that your employees have the best language skills possible and those skills may even vary from position to position within your company. You may need call center employees with excellent verbal and listening skills. You may also require technical writers that have a strong grasp of English or even other languages for translation abilities. Of the many language skills that employers feel they need to test for employee proficiency, writing is often considered one of the most important and also the hardest to assess. Even proficient language speakers may not be as proficient in the written word as they are verbally and so the writing proficiency assessment can be vitally important.

A writing proficiency assessment does not measure vocabulary or grammar knowledge. It is difficult to develop an accurate picture of a candidate’s language or writing ability from such an exam. While “right or wrong answer” style tests can provide apparently clear and direct data, those results are actually misleading as candidates in the real world will almost never be asked to correctly identify the definition of a vocabulary word or underline a participial phrase. An accurate writing assessment, thus, focuses on actual usage of the written language in authentic context. The writing proficiency assessment from Language Testing International does precisely this, offering candidates several writing topics from informal to formal, and asking them to respond to these prompts in writing. The assessment’s results will then be scored by certified scorers from the American Council for Teaching of Foreign Languages – ACTFL. Language Testing International will then offer a rating in one of ten levels for each candidate assessed from not functional in the given language to completely professionally proficient.

Writing proficiency testing is an increasingly popular and needed assessment, particularly as language skills do not develop synchronously in each area of use. Many speakers and listeners of a language are extremely competent and capable verbally, but lack solid reading and writing skills. Testing for writing ability, even in a native language, is thus becoming more and more common and LTI understands the need to be able to perform this testing accurately and efficiently. Testing with LTI for writing is computer based and easy to access, providing your company or organization clear and convenient results. Candidates can thus easily access the exam, eliminating the need for you to establish testing centers and extensive testing protocols. For the highest quality writing proficiency assessment to provide accurate measures of candidate ability, contact Language Testing International today.

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.