How to measure an employee's English language skills?

Pretty much any company or organization recognizes how important it is that their employees have a good command of the English language. The challenge they are facing is that traditional tools and methods are no longer effective when it comes to assessing and evaluating an employee’s level of English. Exams and tests like the TOEIC, LCCI English, Cambridge English, IELTS, etc. were created decades ago when the world was still largely dominated by analogue technologies and business models. Today, we live in the era of AI and automation and the TOEIC test which hasn’t changed much since it first emerged in 1978 hasn’t changed much.

So, we need a new approach to gauging a person’s language skills. Let’s brainstorm some ideas on how this can be achieved since the potential is huge. We can make this a What is a Wiki Post? - users - Discourse Meta at any point in time.

To get started, here are a few of my suggestions. The following could be criteria to help measure a person’s English language and learning skills:

  • person doesn’t panic when she receives a corporate email in English and uses Google Translate
  • person knows that Google Translate has been improving dramatically over the past few years because with the right algorithms and a large enough amount of data a machine learns at an exponential rate thereby beating any human being
  • person can compose response in English using Google Translate
  • person creates their own glossary/word list/database with frequently used phrases by analyzing the emails she receives in English (this requires some analytical thinking and the ability to structure information both of which are critical to most jobs nowadays)
  • person starts composing her own emails in English relying less and less on Google Translate and more and more on her own individual glossary/database of frequently used/encountered expressions
  • learner can find their own learning material by using the internet
  • learner can distinguish among different types of materials such as fictitious ESL, fact-based ESL, conventional ESL teaching on Youtube, various types of non-ESL resources such as newspapers, blogs, podcasts, original series by YouTube, Netflix and other streaming sites, sitcoms, documentaries, movies, etc
  • Learner can express and post questions on grammar, vocabulary, language use and other related topics on forums, social media thereby interacting with other learners, teaches and native speakers in English
  • learner can google questions and their answers
  • learner can identify the nationality of native speakers by listening to their accents

I think TOEIC photographs are very useful because the student can see and hear what he/she reads about. The student uses two senses at the same time so he/she can understand and recall photos from the memory easily.