By Dr Jeff Hawkins
A question I often am asked from my adult ESL students from around the globe (Indonesia, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Middle East) is what is the difference between IELTSs and or CELPIP. This blog addresses this question.
Overview: Why English Language Tests?
Increasingly today, countries require evidence a total score from an ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST like IELTS that you have proficiency in English and are ready to enter the workforce and contribute to society in the official language or languages of that place.
For example, if you decide to immigrate to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, you will need to show proof of your English language skills and that is the why you must write an English language test like IELTS< CELPIP. These different TESTS determine and score English language ability based on 4 key skills in SPEAKING< READING< WRITING>LISTENING.
The score is based on academic ability in the 4 key skills. I mean to say all of these English Tests are fundamentally ACADEMIC tests of English skills even though the general test for Immigration purposes is easier than the academic test to enter University.
Why so hard?
A very important point to remember is that none of the English language test that I have named above is easy to do because no person is strong in all 4 skills of English (reading, writing, listening and speaking). At Aardvark, I help ESL Adults that struggle gigantically with ONE or TWO aspects of the test. Either writing, reading or another student will want Speaking and Listening, it all depends on which area you need to focus on.
At Aardvark, we adapt our ESL program to meet the students test requirements. Recently, I had one gentleman from Mexico that only wanted LISTENING and we focused for 20 hours on Listening skills. You can easily see that he is going to CRUSH the CELPIP or IELTS listening section when he takes the test in December 2021.
IELTS: INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST
The IELTS test is the oldest and most recognized English Proficeiny test around the globe for ESL adults that want to attend University or for immigration purposes. For those looking to go to any country internationally not just Canada, you should take the IELTS test, as it is the gold standard in English Language testing.
The IELTS test is the father of all other English language test and many of the newer tests follow the IELTS format in listening, speaking, reading and writing in order to evaluate and score a person English language proficiency.
A key difference of the IELTS test is that on the LISTENING section, the IELTS Test uses native speakers with accents from all around the globe that includes: Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, United States. As a result, the IELTS test listening section can be much harder than the CELPIP because the student (YOU) must be able to understand the accent and intonation of British English. This can be quite a challenge for someone that has lived only in Canada for the last 10 years and is accustom to the sounds, register of Canadian English.
If you are prepared to write the IELTS, you can score well on any other English language tests – no mistake.
CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is an English language proficiency test.
The CELPIP test much like the IELTS follows the format of Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking.
The key difference is that the listening section ONLY USES Canadian speakers and Canadian accents. This can be a huge advantage for anyone that has lived in Canada for a number of years or studied Canadian English.
The CELPIP test is usually taken to enter Canadian University or for permanent residency purposes. That is to say, to become a permanent residence of Canada you can take the CELPIP test to increase your overall immigration score. The CELPIP test also offers more VISUAL input online to make the test more user friendly. However, like the CELPIP is very difficult to score well on and one must know the testing tricks of the trade to perform well and realize your dream of becoming a permanent resident of Canada.
There is nothing usual or normal about taking the IELTS or CELPIP English Test. Instead, theses test are high stakes and measured on academic performance alone. In other words, no academic ability means NO SCORE on the IELTS or CELPIP.
Even a native speaker of English will have difficulty passing the tests without preparation or help from an experienced IELTS / CELPIP teacher. Just because you have lived in Canada for 20 years, does not mean you will automatically pass the CELPIP test. Below are a few tips to get you started to help with your test.
TIP #1: The test is a performance, a dramatic performance and you need to be ready to provide an extra ordinary amount of detail on every section of the test: namely the WRITING and SPEAKING sections. No details, no high score.
TIP #2: Vocabulary and Grammar: You need to show synonyms in the speaking and writing sections as well as control over more complex grammar such as the present perfect (have eaten, have seen). Better vocabulary and grammar show the examiner that you are a fluent speaker of English. DO NOT use the same words and grammar again and again if you want to score high.
TIP #3: READING & LISTENING: Is all about the key words and the ability to identify the key words in reading and the listening section.
Although the CELPIP and IELTS are essentially different tests the underlying English language skills you need are ACADEMIC in English. Give us an email today email@example.com today and you will quickly achieve your academic test goals.
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