5 good reasons to outsource your language testing

May 6, 2022

Training centres need to test their learners’ language levels, enabling them to create homogenous groups or measure learner progress during training. This language test is essential and must be reliable and easy to manage over the long term.

Many organisations have considered developing their own test from A to Z, rather than using an existing test, arguing that, “it will be much cheaper to develop a tailor-made tool than use an external test”.

So, is this myth or reality?

Although the option of creating your own test may seem the best way forward, the advantages of external testing tools are appreciable for those who choose that path. Based on feedback from several professional linguists, here are the five most significant advantages of outsourcing language testing.

1. Considerable time savings

Unsurprisingly, as with anything that is outsourced, using a third-party service saves your team’s time. There is no need to update questions, manage problems linked to imprecise assessments or correct digital or paper tests individually on a daily basis, all of which can be extremely time-consuming.

Nowadays, online placement tests allow a large number of participants to be assessed at the same time. With ELAO, our testing platform, you obtain the participants’ results instantly and these can be exported in Excel format in one click. This saves a great deal of time for managers and trainers, who can log in to the platform to manage all results directly and easily.

2. A reliable assessment

The ELAO test goesfurther than other tests by offering a more precise assessment than the CEFRL (seeright-hand side of image)

The CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) was  created by experts from the Council of Europe’s Member States in 2001. This reference framework imposes very precise standards to be respected so that language levels throughout Europe are assessed according to a common scale.

Creating a “homemade” test that complies with these standards is a huge undertaking. Even more so when it needs to be updated regularly. By leaving this task to companies who specialise in this area, you guarantee your participants reliable tests which adhere fully to the European framework.

3. Quality and consistency guaranteed

Whether your trainers administer tests or only correct them, human error is never completely unavoidable. Fatigue, a moment of inattention or a slightly subjective evaluation: even if your team follows a precise method, assessment by humans always involves a degree of subjectivity, which is quite normal. A trainer could be unconsciously influenced by a number of factors, including a participant’s personality (extrovert or shy), their mood, the level of stress, etc.

By using an online test, you guarantee consistency and complete objectivity in the assessment of your learners’ levels. All tests carried out under the same conditions and analysed by the same method.

4. Easier lead conversion

One of the biggest (and yet least known!) advantages of a testing platform that is 100% online and outsourced is easier lead conversion. Thanks to a testing tool, such as ELAO, you can offer a company the opportunity to test all their employees in just a few clicks. With those results, you can then map their language skills and create homogenous language training groups. By offering this global view of preconfigured groups to a prospective client, you significantly improve the chances of them accepting your offer.

A company-wide linguistic audit is also of great benefit to human resources managers who can use the results to complete and enrich individual career development plans for their employees.

5. No test management issues

Internal tests can result in a series of everyday issues. In the case of paper tests, they need to be printed, passed on to your trainers, and properly corrected. With an online test on your own website, it is necessary, among other things, to manage IT errors, verify the database, consolidate and sort the results obtained …

By outsourcing your language testing, you can benefit from peace of mind as you leave the responsibility of managing all these issues to someone else!

A final advantage offered by ELAO: each interface is tailor-made and will include  your logo, your messages and your graphic style.

In conclusion, an online assessment tool such as ELAO offers a number of advantages.

It allows you to:

  • Save time related to test management (preparation and assessment)
  • Guarantee reliable results
  • Ensure consistency over time and provide dependably objective assessments  
  • Avoid technical issues
  • Offer your clients a test prior to training, which reassures them of their choice and helps them come to a decision based on the services they need

ELAO provides you with all these benefits  while allowing you to retain your independence, as you are ultimately the one who decides when tests are sent out and how results are handled.