Why Austrlaia Strict for Asian English Standards - Page 4

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Why Austrlaia Strict for Asian English Standards - Page 4


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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2011, 05:04 AM
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Exclamation Does an IELTS score actually reflect English communication capabilities?

I raised this question through a new thread yesterday, but was later told by Wanderer to join in here.

It came up after coming across a few comments from this and other forums from prospective migrants who can't fully understand official communications emailed/posted to them and/or info available at the DIAC and allied Govt. bodies(including State/Territory) websites.

Considering that almost all prospective migrants do have to take the IELTS and meet a minimum threshold band requirement in the respective Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking sections, (Q1) do you think that the IELTS score actually reflects true English comprehension & communication abilities of individuals as would be required to make ends meet Down Under?

Another point that I'd like to add about the IELTS is that any specific overall band target can be met with through a proper and focused preparation regardless of whether you are a native speaker or not - the test knows nothing about the taker. Through personal experience, I feel that reading and listening can be aced (9 in both) while the writing and speaking parts are where your true expression of English is tested. Getting 7 bands across all sections can be a big challenge for non-speakers of English but scoring 8s or 9s will most likely be impossible unless you really can write and speak it. The DIACs new point system, applicable July 2011 onwards, that allows room to claim points for superior English reflects its responsiveness to incidents like that of Dr.Ismail quoted much earlier in this thread. But still, (Q2) would it be acceptable to have an immigrant doc with 8(Superior) or 9(Proficient) bands in all sections as per the IELTS test with the possibility that his/her actual reading and listening capabilities could well be below 7 considering that both these sections can be aced like I previously mentioned?

P.S. I managed an overall 8 band on my IELTS with respectively L/R/W/S: 9/9/7/7 and I'm not a native speaker of English


Last edited by dragon; 01-15-2011 at 08:36 AM. Reason: typo

  #32 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2011, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
(Q1) do you think that the IELTS score actually reflects true English comprehension & communication abilities of individuals as would be required to make ends meet Down Under?
It does some work in that area but no, it does not truly reflect it. Listening and speaking sections are too easy and high scores are easier to achieve. On the other hand, even native speakers may have problems with getting 6 or 7 in writing whereas migrants from India do great in that area. The same Indians with 7 or 8 in writing or even with 7 or 8 in all sections of IELTS end up in supermarkets or as taxi drivers because their English it not well understood by locals.

Quote:
(Q2) would it be acceptable to have an immigrant doc with 8(Superior) or 9(Proficient) bands in all sections as per the IELTS test with the possibility that his/her actual reading and listening capabilities could well be below 7 considering that both these sections can be aced like I previously mentioned?
Yes, it is quite common that listening and speaking results are better than reading and writing. Moreover, listening and speaking are marked too high IMHO and do not reflect true language level.


  #33 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:29 AM
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While those questions are extremely valid, and the above answers are spot on, there are a huge number of applicants that are refused entry due to their poort English level. I have an individual who wishes to use our services but we have to refuse him because no matter what happens, he cannot apply for any visa because his IELTS score is only at level 5.

While there is always people out there who will find ways around things like IELTS, avoiding a speeding ticket, thwarting the insurance company to make a false claim, etc. I believe that the vast majority will simply walk in and take the test as innocently as a third grader taking a spelling test. Whether they pass or fail rests on their skills with the language.

But of course, you raise the point with your first question. And yes, IELTS could be looked at and worked over to provide a more complete understanding of an individual's ability, and I do believe that changes will come with DIAC placing a strong emphasis on English ability with the new points test, but my advice is to just be patient.

Oh, with regards to the above comment about people coming from India with high IELTS scores then ending up as taxi driver's because of their English ability, I don't believe that to be correct. A lot of people were in high profile jobs in India such as doctors or engineers, but fail to meet the qualification standards in Australia. I've worked with people coming from South America who were Doctors and Vets in their home country, and are cleaning cars at the moment while they spend two years in university learning how to be a Doctor or Vet in Australia. I love that about this country - just because you're qualified as something in another country, doesn't mean you're qualified here.


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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
On the other hand, even native speakers may have problems with getting 6 or 7 in writing whereas migrants from India do great in that area. The same Indians with 7 or 8 in writing or even with 7 or 8 in all sections of IELTS end up in supermarkets or as taxi drivers because their English it not well understood by locals.
On a broader level, people from the South Asia(India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and other former Colonial areas do tend to place higher emphasis on English in schools. Harsha Bogle, the Indian cricket commentator, I feel is a good example of what I'm saying, if you have heard him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
Yes, it is quite common that listening and speaking results are better than reading and writing. Moreover, listening and speaking are marked too high IMHO and do not reflect true language level.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneASCMigration View Post
But of course, you raise the point with your first question. And yes, IELTS could be looked at and worked over to provide a more complete understanding of an individual's ability, and I do believe that changes will come with DIAC placing a strong emphasis on English ability with the new points test, but my advice is to just be patient.
Do you think its time the IELTS body did a review of their grading system(specially the General format required to be taken by prospective migrants) with the feedback of DIAC and other countries that require the IELTS for immigration purposes, to reflect more precise skill levels; or do you feel that the DIAC should introduce an Aus-specific test based on local requirements with feedback from experts including respected expats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneASCMigration View Post
Oh, with regards to the above comment about people coming from India with high IELTS scores then ending up as taxi driver's because of their English ability, I don't believe that to be correct. A lot of people were in high profile jobs in India such as doctors or engineers, but fail to meet the qualification standards in Australia. I've worked with people coming from South America who were Doctors and Vets in their home country, and are cleaning cars at the moment while they spend two years in university learning how to be a Doctor or Vet in Australia. I love that about this country - just because you're qualified as something in another country, doesn't mean you're qualified here.
Regardless of the IELTS, how can individuals fail to meet qualification standards when their foreign(non-Aus) qualifications have been "assessed" and deemed equal to the Aussie standards as part of the DIAC process and end up in Australia as a taxi driver?


  #35 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon View Post
On a broader level, people from the South Asia(India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and other former Colonial areas do tend to place higher emphasis on English in schools. Harsha Bogle, the Indian cricket commentator, I feel is a good example of what I'm saying, if you have heard him.




Do you think its time the IELTS body did a review of their grading system(specially the General format required to be taken by prospective migrants) with the feedback of DIAC and other countries that require the IELTS for immigration purposes, to reflect more precise skill levels; or do you feel that the DIAC should introduce an Aus-specific test based on local requirements with feedback from experts including respected expats?



Regardless of the IELTS, how can individuals fail to meet qualification standards when their foreign(non-Aus) qualifications have been "assessed" and deemed equal to the Aussie standards as part of the DIAC process and end up in Australia as a taxi driver?
Personally I believe IELTS needs to be reviewed every time DIAC reviews its policies. But then, that's wishful thinking. I think every two years wouldn't be out of the question.

A lot of people don't come over as "Doctors" or other professions. They come over as students and then try and enter the workforce as a skilled graduate, try and get sponsored etc. Most hospitals, GP Clinics, Vet Clinics, Engineering firms will not take on people from other countries unless they are suitably qualified in Australian practices. Look at engineering, if you happen to know anyone in the field, ask them about how extensive the "Australian standards" are with relation to engineering and construction. A bloke coming from a part of Asia where they still use bamboo scaffolding obviously needs to go back to school if they intend to design structures that will have to be built using our technologies.

I wish I could use an example like this for the medical field but I'm afraid I'm not that knowledgeable. All I know is I do have a few clients entering Australia as students for two years, working part time as cleaners and taxi drivers to pay the rent, then go through the normal routes of trying to find work experience and sponsorship. It's quite rewarding actually, seeing people so eager to work in this great country of ours


  #36 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneASCMigration View Post
Personally I believe IELTS needs to be reviewed every time DIAC reviews its policies. But then, that's wishful thinking. I think every two years wouldn't be out of the question.

A lot of people don't come over as "Doctors" or other professions. They come over as students and then try and enter the workforce as a skilled graduate, try and get sponsored etc. Most hospitals, GP Clinics, Vet Clinics, Engineering firms will not take on people from other countries unless they are suitably qualified in Australian practices. Look at engineering, if you happen to know anyone in the field, ask them about how extensive the "Australian standards" are with relation to engineering and construction. A bloke coming from a part of Asia where they still use bamboo scaffolding obviously needs to go back to school if they intend to design structures that will have to be built using our technologies.

I wish I could use an example like this for the medical field but I'm afraid I'm not that knowledgeable. All I know is I do have a few clients entering Australia as students for two years, working part time as cleaners and taxi drivers to pay the rent, then go through the normal routes of trying to find work experience and sponsorship. It's quite rewarding actually, seeing people so eager to work in this great country of ours
So its more about the Aussie experience, that, which you will agree is what the points test ultimate aim is - to single out individuals closest to Aussie standards in terms of English, qualifications and experience which account for the major chunk of the points required to get to the pass mark; with more points being respectively awarded to people with proficient English, Aussie qualifications and Aussie experience.

The DIAC could consider a qualifications based program similar to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) where migrants can spend time to orient and familiarize themselves with Aussie work standards according to their area of specialization. That is much more easily said considering the cost that will have to be borne.

And, yes I do know of friends who have struggled their way up in Australia through the student route that you mentioned - certainly is worth it!


  #37 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon View Post
So its more about the Aussie experience, that, which you will agree is what the points test ultimate aim is - to single out individuals closest to Aussie standards in terms of English, qualifications and experience which account for the major chunk of the points required to get to the pass mark; with more points being respectively awarded to people with proficient English, Aussie qualifications and Aussie experience.

The DIAC could consider a qualifications based program similar to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) where migrants can spend time to orient and familiarize themselves with Aussie work standards according to their area of specialization. That is much more easily said considering the cost that will have to be borne.

And, yes I do know of friends who have struggled their way up in Australia through the student route that you mentioned - certainly is worth it!
Absolutely 100% agree.

There are certain companies out there who will train people who are only missing a few things from their qualifications and have ties with eligible employer sponsors. You just have to find them. I think one is called Silver Trowel Training? Or Silver Trowel something... It's definitely STT anyway.

The Dept. is less and less concerned with helping people get here or get qualified. Many of my clients often say when they tried asking DIAC what they should do regarding something specific they get answers like "You may wish to... or you could also consider..." But never any direct or certain advice. As I say to my clients - the Dept. is there to process the paperwork, not assist you in filling out the paperwork.


  #38 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:03 PM
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As I wrote before - someone needs to review listening and speaking section. With listening - the recording is basically unnatural. You meet completely different English on the street or in everyday life than in the recording. The one in the recording is clear and much easier to understand. The same assessee goes then to everyday life and often starts claiming that "the way Australians speak is impossible to understand". Job market will be ruthless for them and they will fail to find employment in their own profession. That way we will have doctors and other professionals cleaning, washing cars, working in supermarkets and whinging on their own discussion forums that "they have been cheated by Australian government".

Speaking part is a joke. They don't look much at your accent, pronounciation and how well understood you can be. The result is rarely below 6. In reality, many of these people have English that doesn't qualify them to do the profession they were granted PR for. I don't really have a good solution here...

Quote:
All I know is I do have a few clients entering Australia as students for two years, working part time as cleaners and taxi drivers to pay the rent, then go through the normal routes of trying to find work experience and sponsorship.
I'm a similar case but not identical. When I came to Australia, I did 2 years course and passed NAATI test to obtain PR. It worked out very well. Within 2 years I got some Australian experience (mainly in customer service, sales and telemarketing) and I decided to go that way after obtaining PR. Today after 7 years in Australia I can say it was a perfect choice.


  #39 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
As I wrote before - someone needs to review listening and speaking section. With listening - the recording is basically unnatural. You meet completely different English on the street or in everyday life than in the recording. The one in the recording is clear and much easier to understand. The same assessee goes then to everyday life and often starts claiming that "the way Australians speak is impossible to understand". Job market will be ruthless for them and they will fail to find employment in their own profession. That way we will have doctors and other professionals cleaning, washing cars, working in supermarkets and whinging on their own discussion forums that "they have been cheated by Australian government".

Speaking part is a joke. They don't look much at your accent, pronounciation and how well understood you can be. The result is rarely below 6. In reality, many of these people have English that doesn't qualify them to do the profession they were granted PR for. I don't really have a good solution here...



I'm a similar case but not identical. When I came to Australia, I did 2 years course and passed NAATI test to obtain PR. It worked out very well. Within 2 years I got some Australian experience (mainly in customer service, sales and telemarketing) and I decided to go that way after obtaining PR. Today after 7 years in Australia I can say it was a perfect choice.
Well done on making the right choice

But the latest trends suggest that less and less people are entering Australia as Independents and a huge emphasis is being placed on employer or state sponsorship (easy points if you can get them).

Yes those tapes do need to be reviewed to include a catalogue of random recordings taken from every day people that one is likely to encounter such as someone at a checkout; "Cheque, savings, or credit?", when you may have asked someone for directions; "Yeah you keep walking right to the end of Hay St, hang a left and it should be on your right in about 50 metres" and other things of that nature.

But again - wishful thinking.

We are talking about a system where civil libertarians are calling the shots these days - a system where homeless people will commit crimes just to end up in prison because it's basically a 3 star hotel behind bars these days. So if you start trying to introduce recordings like that, the civil libertarians will jump up and down screaming "that's not fair! Change it back!"


  #40 (permalink)  
Old 03-13-2011, 10:50 AM
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Hi AQEEL,
as you just missed out on getting you required ielts score I would suggest that it's probably your exam technique instead on your overall english ability. The fact is IELTS is structured in a way that unless you are really prepared for it you will not get the 7.0 min requried for health professions. Recently a TV program in Australian reported that many Australian's would not get the high scores required of internationals.

I'm sure if you sat the ielts again and prepared for it (e.g. doing practice tests) I'm sure you would be successful.

Do a search on google for "ielts test online"


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