examinations includes specialist examinations in BusinessEnglish and English for Academic Purposes, as well as testsfor young learners and a suite of certificates and diplomas forlanguage teachers.The examinations cover all four language skills – listening,speaking, reading and writing. They include a range of taskswhich assess candidates’ability to use English, so that inpreparing for the examinations, candidates develop the skillsthey need to make practical use of the language in a varietyof contexts. Above all, what the Cambridge ESOLexaminations assess is the ability to communicate effectivelyin English.Cambridge ESOLis committed to providing examinations ofthe highest possible quality. This commitment is underpinnedby an extensive programme of research and evaluation, andby continuous monitoring of the marking and grading of allCambridge ESOLexaminations. Of particular importance isthe rigorous set of procedures which are used in theproduction and pretesting of question papers, and these aredescribed in the following section.
The Association of Language Testers in Europe(ALTE)
Cambridge ESOLis a member of the Association of LanguageTesters in Europe (ALTE), which was formed in 1990. Themembers are all providers of language examinations andcertificates from countries within Europe.The principal objectives of ALTE are as follows:• to promote the transnational recognition of certification,especially in Europe• to establish common standards for all stages of thelanguage testing process, i.e. test development, questionand materials writing, test administration, marking andgrading, reporting of test results, test analysis andreporting of findings• to collaborate on joint projects and in the exchange ofideas and know-how.Cambridge ESOLexaminations fulfil the Code of Practiceestablished by ALTE. This Code of Practice focuses on theresponsibilities of both examination providers andexamination users and covers four main areas:• developing examinations• interpreting examination results• striving for fairness• informing examination takers.For more information on ALTE please visit www.ALTE.orgPage 1
This handbook is intended principally for teachers andcourse designers who are, or intend to become, involved inpreparing candidates for the Cambridge Key English Test(KET). There are separate handbooks for other CambridgeESOLexaminations.The introductory part of the handbook provides a generalbackground to the Cambridge ESOLexaminations and anoverview of the work of Cambridge ESOL, including adescription of current procedures for test design, productionand marking. It is hoped that this will be of interest both tothose who are familiar with the Cambridge ESOLexaminations, and to those who are coming to them for thefirst time.For further information on any of the Cambridge ESOLexaminations, please contact:Cambridge ESOLInformation1 Hills RoadCambridgeCB1 2EUUnited KingdomTelephone: +44 1223 553355Fax: +44 1223 460278email: ESOL@ucles.org.ukwebsite: www.CambridgeESOL.org
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE ESOLEXAMINATIONS
Introduction to Cambridge ESOL
University of Cambridge ESOLExaminations (CambridgeESOL) is a part of the University of Cambridge LocalExaminations Syndicate (UCLES), which has providedexaminations in English for speakers of other languages since1913. Cambridge ESOLoffers an extensive range ofexaminations, certificates and diplomas for learners andteachers of English. In 2002 over 1.2 million people tookthese examinations at centres in over 130 countries.Cambridge ESOLwas formerly known as UCLES EFL. Thetitle ESOL– English for Speakers of Other Languages – wasadopted in October 2002, reflecting the increasing diversityof the candidature.Cambridge ESOLexaminations can be taken by anyonewhose first language is not English. They are suitable forlearners of all nationalities, whatever their first language andcultural background, and there are examinations suitable forlearners of almost any age. The range of Cambridge ESOL