"The council originally considered the use of only TOEFL, an English proficiency test created in the United States to gauge English skills of foreign students and used by universities around the world. But it eventually decided to allow other tests after some council members pointed out TOEFL questions may be “too difficult."
If the international standard for measuring English proficiency is “too difficult,” just invent your own standards! Problem solved! Tell us what you’ve got lined up, Japan.
Benesse Corp., a major education business operator, is offering a test called “GTEC for Students.” Last year, 620,000 middle and high school students took the test, which meaures their proficiency in reading, listening and writing. The company plans to include questions to test their conversation skills sometime during the 2014 academic year.
Yes, this leading education firm is offering an English test that might include conversation skills “sometime during the 2014 academic year.” In the meantime, let’s just assume that reading and writing basic grammar is an accurate appraisal of language ability.
In related news, I’ll be drafting my own Japanese proficiency exam that might include a listening portion in 2016 - well after I pass it with flying colors, of course. Who wants to hire me? I’m fluent, apparently!