Portuguese schools to use Cambridge English as part of national scheme

All Portuguese students in grade 9 will take a Cambridge English exam following an agreement between Cambridge English Language Assessment and a consortium of some of the country’s top companies.

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(PRWEB UK) 11 February 2014

All Portuguese students in grade 9 will take a Cambridge English exam following an agreement between Cambridge English Language Assessment and a consortium of some of the country’s top companies.

Around 1000 state Schools enrolled all of their grade 9 pupils for the Key for Schools Portugal tests, which will be run for the first time in April 2014. Students will take the Cambridge English: Key for Schools exam which is taken by students all over the world, giving them an internationally recognised qualification and an excellent first step towards more advanced certificates such as the famous Cambridge English: First and Proficiency.

The tests will be administered by the Instituto de Avaliação Educacional (IAVE). There will be no cost to schools or the government thanks to an innovative collaboration between Cambridge English Language Assessment – a department of the University of Cambridge – and the Fundação Bissaya Barreto. Funding is provided by four leading companies in Portugal investment bank BPI, healthcare workflow solution provider Connexall, information technology specialists Novabase and the publisher Porto Editora.

Cambridge English will train around 1,200 teachers to become Cambridge English Speaking examiners, qualifying them to run the Speaking examinations according to the rigorous professional standards required for all Cambridge English exams. Cambridge English will also provide the Ministry of Education with an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of language learning in Portuguese Schools, an essential first step to improving standards of English throughout the country.

“This is the first time that an education ministry has made a Cambridge English exam compulsory for all students in grade 9 of compulsory schooling,” explains Nigel Pike, Director of Assessment for Cambridge English Language Assessment. “Thanks to IAVE we are able to work with a highly experienced national exam board and with highly qualified and experienced teachers throughout Portugal, which will enable us to carry out the tests on a very large scale.”

Key for Schools Portugal covers levels A1 to B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages. According to Nigel Pike, “The Cambridge English exams have been taken in Portugal since 1945 and many Portuguese learners achieve excellent standards of English. This new programme is designed to help raise the standards nationally, so that all pupils leave school with an effective command of English. The Portuguese government and the companies who are supporting this initiative deserve congratulations for their far-sighted commitment to giving the next generation the skills they need to succeed in a competitive, multilingual world.”


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