International teams, and the internationalisation and globalisation of corporations require intercultural skills, including excellent language skills. In order to properly diagnose them, a linguistic audit is needed, which offers an objective and detailed evaluation of the linguistic competences of a company’s employees: in terms of active and passive knowledge of the skills necessary for using a foreign language.
An audit is perfect for one of the four areas:
- during the recruitment process, as a tool for confirming the declared level of language competence. It enables us to verify the level of proficiency, and it helps decide whether a candidate meets the recruitment requirements for a specific post.
- before a training course in order to define the level of participants’ language competence. The so-called proficiency level audit is a language diagnosis which enables us to establish a participant’s starting level, and define her/his training needs which at later stages facilitate the preparation of a tailor-made curriculum which will meet our client’s expectations.
- before and after the training course in order to easily evaluate the progress. A participant takes the same test before beginning and upon completing the course, which enables objective progress analysis, and helps us define new training goals.
- as a verification of an employee’s level of competence in order to plan her/his development within the company, properly motivate her/him, and utilise her/his linguistic aptitude in the best possible way.
The audit consists of two parts: a written one and an oral one. The former is a test consisting a lexical and grammatical part, and an open-end part (composition). The latter is an interview conducted by the auditor which takes approx. 15-20 minutes. During the interview the auditor raises themes of everyday life and hobbies, as well as professional work, duties, and the projects in which the auditee is engaged. The aim of the questions is to check the person’s fluency, the range of general, business or specialist vocabulary, and the grammatical correctness of her/his utterances. The questions are adjusted to our clients’ needs, and focus on those themes which according to them are the most significant.
Audits can be conducted at a client’s premises or remotely. During an audit held at a client’s premises, the participants start with a written test, and later participate in an oral diagnosis of their linguistic competences. A remote audit enables flexibility in adjusting the date and time for the participants because it is held via the internet while the interview is held over the telephone.
For employers, a linguistic audit constitutes a guarantee of expected qualifications required in the recruitment process. For employees, it is an opportunity for self-assessment, and raising their qualifications. It eventually leads to facilitating communication within a company, and in everyday relations with business partners and external clients. It also ensures cost-efficiency, and a rational utilisation of corporate training budgets.