What is the EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement?
The EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement is a Certificate stating an individual’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) language level at the end of his or her course of study. The levels range from A1 (elementary) to C2 (similar to a native speaker of the language).
The EAQUALS Certificate may only be issued by schools whose corpus of learning and assessment materials is fully based on the CEFR descriptors and whose teachers are comprehensively trained in language analysis based on CEFR levels. The integrity and rigour of the assessment and analysis processes ensure the validity of the test results as outlined on the certificate.
The EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement is not based on a commercially published test. It is based on assessment procedures approved by EAQUALS.(Evaluation and Accreditation of Quality Language Services) . EAQUALS has played a leading role in the introduction of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and the European Language Portfolio (ELP) in language education and is an INGO which contributes to ongoing CEFR projects. (www.eaquals.org)
Advantages of the EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement
More and more, language learners need to be able to prove their objectively-assessed level of competence in the English language. Employers place great importance on employing personnel who are competent in using spoken and written English.
Language learners often have difficulties meeting traditional English language examination dates and costs. The EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement is based on continuous assessment while on a language learning course so the dates can be arranged to suit the learner.
There will, in the future, be a fee for this Certificate but for 2012 Alpha College will not charge an extra fee for this certificate so there is no added cost involved this year.
In the case of the EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement the candidate can be assessed continually over a period of classes and so does not have to perform in exam conditions. The four skills can be assessed in the much more student friendly and less stressful surroundings of the classroom while interacting with other language students. The assessment is carried out by two trained assessors/teachers who are the candidates’ class teachers and so know the candidates language level well.
The Certificate is accompanied by an accurate statement of the CEFR level descriptors which apply to an individual learner
Each EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement has a unique number, generated by EAQUALS; includes the name of the institution which issued the certificate and the date of the beginning and end of the course during which the assessment was carried out.
Why employers and decision makers are impressed by the EAQUALS Certificate of Achievement
The assessment is carried out as part on the ongoing language development process; learners are not spending large amounts of time (and money) studying examination taking strategies and techniques, often at the expense of actually improving their language competence. Employers and decision makers can therefore be sure that the EAQUALS certificates presented by language learners are an accurate representation of their language competence.
Quality Control Requirements for Issuance of EAQUALS Certificates of Achievement
Alpha College in Dublin is one of the very few schools world-wide which are authorised to issue EAQUALS CEFR-based Certificates of Achievement.
To be authorised to issue EAQUALS Certificates of Achievement a school must undergo a rigorous accreditation process of the assessment principles in operation in the school and be able to demonstrate that:
- The principles and levels of the CEFR are fully implemented in its curriculum and syllabi
- Learning objectives in the school are derived from CEFR descriptors and from an analysis of the language competences necessary at the relevant level
- The descriptions of levels, the activities used by teachers when they are assessing learners and specifications for tests created by the institution are based on CEFR descriptors
- Its teachers have been professionally trained in assessing learners’ language competence against CEFR levels so that all teachers in the institution are able to assess learners reliably and accurately
- Double-marking and other moderation techniques are used in the institution to ensure consistent and impartial marking and grading
- Quality control mechanisms in the school ensure that assessment procedures and the outcomes of student assessment are regularly reviewed.