Friday, 13 July 2007

Asset Languages for the World of Work

In their Centre Support Update Special Edition: July 2007, Asset Languages made the following announcement:

"Now that Asset Languages is established in hundreds of centres with tens of thousands of students using the assessments each year, we have started to develop a new set of qualifications: Asset Languages for the World of Work.

In the past few months we have:

• surveyed centres
• held focus group meetings
• talked to experts
• worked with specialist consultants in order to create new qualifications that will meet the needs of centres and that students are going to find relevant and interesting.

As a result we are currently finalising proposals that we will put to QCA in the autumn.
It is too soon to give precise details, but we can say with confidence that:

• The Asset Languages philosophy including single skill testing will still apply
• Materials will be in French and Spanish
• The scheme will be sufficiently adaptable to fit a wide range of vocational pathways
External Assessments will be at Preliminary and Intermediate stages
Speaking tests will replicate workplace situations
Greater guidance will be given on the vocational topics and functions than in the current Asset Languages specifications.

We are aiming to have a draft specification on our website in October 2007 with full availability in 2008/09.
If you would be interested in trialling materials for the scheme please contact Caroline Cole, Centre Support Manager, Asset Languages at "

I am especially interested in how the scheme will fit into the vocational pathways, in the profile of the students it is aimed at-no breakthrough level external assessment?- and in the approaches used to make the speaking test replicate workplace situation.

After so many years dominated by GCSE, are we witnessing a real diversification of languages qualifications? More to the point, will schools use these qualifications to boost numbers at KS4 and the A-C and A-G pass rates soon to be published in the league tables?
Only time will tell...

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