Thursday April 14th, 2016 Kim Grant

What is fluent? English for work

What if fluent? English for work

It is customary to see the words ‘fluent’ or ‘proficient’ next to language ability on a CV, but what does that term really mean? And does it qualify you for the job position? Better still, does it allow you to excel at your job, or earn a promotion? Even before you apply for the job, can you obtain a work visa in an English speaking country?

Did you know that the United Kingdom has recently increased the required level of proficiency for medical doctors working in the UK to between level C1 – C2 according to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) or a 7.5 on the IELTS exam? In Australia, a minimum of IELTS 7 is required for medical professionals. To enter into a UK university, a level of between IELTS 5 – 7 is required for courses taught in English. In New Zealand, a minimum of IELTS 4 is required for visa applicants in business categories.

Continuing your English language studies not only allows for promotion in your own profession, but if you are looking to move to another sector, further work opportunities will become available with an improved language score.

Furthermore, in order to actively participate in your career on a global level, is it necessary for you to further your English studies for continuing professional development? In the construction industry in Europe the EVLAC project was initiated,

“to increase the mobility of construction professionals  throughout  Europe,  decrease  the  misunderstandings between nationals due to cultural differences, introduce different work cultures and practices to vocational students while increasing  their language  abilities, provide an  e-learning material which is user friendly, easy to access and can be further expanded for both different languages/cultures and for changing working practices.”

It is customary for students to strive to undertake tertiary education that qualifies them to work internationally, and not be restricted to a single national system – This is often the reason for students travelling abroad to study in English. Similarly, in order to work internationally, even outside of an English speaking country, a certain standard of English for the work place allows for better mobility across different countries.

Know your language level, and your professional requirements for language. Furthermore, address language abilities necessary should you wish to further or expand your career. For a better understanding of the CEFR levels, click here. For a comparison on CEFR & IELTS to other international language level certificates, have a look at this infographic. Look out for our English for work articles in the months to come which further investigate English requirement levels in various work sectors; and read about English One’s professional English courses here.

Sources:

http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Cadre1_en.asp

http://blog.esl-languages.com/blog/learn-languages/work-in-a-foreign-language/

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/alreadyinnz/business/englishlanguagerequirements/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267451229_LANGUAGE_NEEDS_OF_CONSTRUCTION_PROFESSIONALS

http://www.civil.ntua.gr/cem/innovation/EVLAC%28en%29.pdf

http://iepartners.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/CEFR-Infographic1.jpg


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