New International Certificate of Broadcast Standard English Launched

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What is the fastest growing area in education today? To capitalise on that growth and set a standard, SpeechSchool.TV has today announced the introduction of an International Certificate for Spoken English, but you may be surprised at the accent chosen.

What is the fastest growing area in international education today? Statistics revealed by the British Council show that numbers learning English are set to peak at 2 billion people over the next 10 to 15 years. Yet most of those learners will be a long way from being able to speak the language well, constraining communication as English continues to embed as the lingua franca of a fast globalising world.

Simon Angelo is in charge of international marketing for SpeechSchool.TV (http://www.speechschool.tv), an award winning online school of spoken English with a base at Massey University’s ecentre in Auckland, New Zealand and in London, UK.

Mr. Angelo believes a majority of intermediate to advanced learners of English struggle to capitalise on their language skills. “The problem is a lack of finishing. We see English speakers from every corner of the globe through our programs and most have a good grasp of the language. Their grammar is sometimes better than many native speakers. Yet before proper speech training, they are profoundly frustrated because they lack the ability to get their point across when speaking or do not gain the respect they deserve due to the way they sound.”

“One of the difficulties has been in the lack of rating systems and qualifications specifically for English speech. While learners typically receive IELTS or TOEFL scores indicating overall language ability, this does not mean they can speak confidently, be easily understood or make a favourable impression,” Mr. Angelo says. “As more people than ever move around the world to work, study or conduct business, clarity in spoken English is becoming more critical.”

This is backed up by studies in English speaking countries which show that speakers with a foreign accent or who are more difficult to understand are at severe disadvantage when it comes to looking for work. Yet up until now there has been little measurement of actual clarity in spoken English.

SpeechSchool.TV has announced the introduction of an International Certificate of Broadcast Standard Spoken English (Cert. BSE), a global award available to students undertaking their speech programs. Using a detailed online speech assessment system where the student speaks directly with the examiner, SpeechSchool.TV scores the level of spoken English in a detailed way.

Any score over 65% indicates that the speaker’s accent does not impede understanding and that they are at a native English speaker level. Scores over 75% suggest the level of a more articulate, well educated native speaker, while scores in excess of 85% should match the level of clarity and flair expected of professional broadcasters in the language.

“All students undertaking the exam for the Cert. BSE are given a detailed assessment report,” Mr. Angelo explains. “However only those who achieve 85% or more are awarded the Certificate which means that in our careful examination of their speech and in due comparison with professional broadcasters in the English speaking world, they would cut the mustard.”

With the training and examination being delivered online through internet video technology, the certificate program is available to any speaker worldwide who has achieved an English level of IELTS 4.5+ (TOEFL 475+) who wants to be certain of their speaking level and ensure their English language training is properly finished.

While SpeechSchool.TV’s Master Speaker course promises to reduce foreign accents and teaches ‘Standard English’ based on Received Pronunciation, Mr. Angelo says that many of the most authentic speakers keep traces of their cultural roots within their spoken English. “It is about being clear and respected but also about whom you are and where you’re from. The Certificate of Broadcast Standard Spoken English awards those who have reached the ultimate standard in spoken English, wherever they are speaking English in the world today.”

Based on campus, the ecentre at Massey University has played a role in helping SpeechSchool.TV grow and develop to the point where it is able to offer this award. ecentre CEO, Steve Corbett says that the relationship has helped SpeechSchool.TV connect with an international audience. The ecentre offers growth programmes for organisations through ecentreSprint and other well regarded programmes.

Further information on the training at SpeechSchool.TV and the Certificate of Broadcast Standard Spoken English can be found on the school’s website at http://www.speechschool.tv or through enquiry to courses(at)speechschool(dot)tv.

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