Do countries have equal access to English Language Certifications?

Do countries have equal access to English Language Certifications?

The access for students to both in person and distanced supervised Language Exams is very unequal, in different countries. Some countries like Vietnam, Uzbekistan, China, have strong demand for these certifications, and weak supply.

This situation is compounded by the rules set up by Language Certification Editors. For security reasons, and to ensure that candidates can speak to people of their culture and their language, most editors, like Cambridge Assessment seek to restrict cross-border sales of distanced-supervised exams. In the day and age of the internet, this is a difficult endeavour. Motivated candidates will use functionalities like Google Translate and VPN to access available distanced supervised exams in countries other than theirs.

Let’s take the example of Uzbekistan that has one single Linguaskill Centre in Samarkand. It stretches 1269km from West to East, and 930 km from North to South, and one will understand how much of an ordeal this situation is for candidates (24 hours by train to go to Samarkand from the West of the country).

Some countries are attempting to find solutions to these problems. A country like Vietnam has introduced the VSTEP Language Certification, which is a home-grown attempt at providing English Language Certifications. Other countries like Uzbekistan have recently signed partnerships with specific exam providers (ITEP in the case of Uzbekistan) in an effort to develop supply.

VICTORIA’S English thinks that this is an interesting solution that should, if it develops according to plan, solve the problem locally. We hope other editors like Cambridge Assessment and ETSGLOBAL will follow suit and increase and improve the offer of Language Certifications outside the Western World.  

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