The Creator of the ECL Tests
After many years of professional preparatory work the Member States of the European Union established a consortium in 1992, with London as the centre. With the help of the ERASMUS and later the LINGUA programmes its task was to develop a uniform language test in the languages of the Member States of the European Union. In accordance with the EU unification policy the Member States that formed the consortium wanted to ensure equivalency and recognition of the certificates in each language without having to be validated nationally. (Nostrification.)
The professional responsibility of the “ECL” language tests – ECL stands for “European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages” – was taken up by a prestigious university in the home country of each language that constructs the tests and evaluates the papers. On the basis of the uniform criteria established in the first phase of standardisation, ECL exams can be taken in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Rumainan, Bulgarian, Serbian, Slovak, Russian, Spanish, Croatian, Czech and Hebrew.
Features of the Test
The content and overall validity of the tests have been established after extensive research by specialists and pilot tests on specific target groups. The ECL exams test oral and written ability to use the language of everyday discourse on practical, professional and personal topics at varying degrees of complexity.
Comparability is one of the important characteristics of the ECL tests. To ensure this, examinations as well as test materials and certificates are built on uniform principles. According to these uniform principles the parameters and criteria of evaluation and the types of tasks are the same in each language.
Each specialist member of the Consortium is responsible for test construction and marking in their own language. To ensure maximum reliability for the ECL tests, all items are pre-tested, test constructors and markers are trained before each session, and a system of double marking is used. A committee of specialists from each of the languages being examined monitors the standards of question-setting, marking and awarding to ensure equivalence between levels of achievement across the languages.