"Bulgarian Armed Forces English Language Proficiency Test "
Bulgarian Armed Forces English Language Proficiency Test Specifications in Accordance with NATO STANAG 6001 National Test Team June 2001 Republic of Bulgaria CONTENTS PAGE ASSUMPTIONS 3 PURPOSE AND DESCRIIPTION OF THE TEST 4 LISTENING SECTION 5 READING SECTION 8 WRITING SECTION 11 SPEAKING SECTION 14 2 ASSUMPTIONS 1. The Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test and the Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test Specifications have been designed by the Bulgarian National Test Team - an initiative of the Peacekeeping English Project (PEP), managed by Hamish McIlwraith, and the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. Only versions of the Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test released by the Bulgarian National Test Team are officially recognised by the Bulgarian MoD. 2. The Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test Specifications have been designed in accordance with the STANAG 6001 Descriptors and the Bureau for International Language Coordination (BILC) Interpretation of STANAG 6001. 3. The Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test Specifications are developed according to sound language testing principles. The Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test is constructed on the basis of the Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test Specifications. 4. This is the second, revised edition of the Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test Specifications. 5. The Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test measures language skills and NOT professional competence. 6. Results are expressed in whole numbers, i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4. No halves or pluses are used. 7. An examinee rated at a given level on this scale will have the communicative competence and skills associated with lower levels on the scale. For example, a level 3 candidate is assumed to have all the language skills of a level 1 and a level 2 candidate. 8. Level 5 is not tested in Bulgaria as level 5 is only awarded to native speakers. 3 National Test Team Interoperability Faculty Rakovski Defence and Staff College PURPOSE OF THE TEST The Bulgarian STANAG 6001 Test is a Global Proficiency Test. It is designed by the Bulgarian National Test Team in accordance with Ministerial Order OX-222 /28.03.2001 and in accordance with NATO STANAG 6001. It is a high-stakes test that is designed to meet the Bulgarian MOD needs for personnel selection based on English language requirements as a step to NATO accession and achieving interoperability. The purpose of the test is to assess the overall English language proficiency of each candidate. Candidates of any language ability can take the test and, if they meet the minimum requirements, be awarded a formal certificate according to the above Order. The assessment aims at testing the four language skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing according to specific criteria and levels of understanding as designated by STANAG 6001. This skills-based approach assesses the extent to which the candidate is able to communicate effectively in their present and possible future professional, social and daily environment. The MOD objectives for NATO membership and participation in the PfP initiative have called for high levels of communicative professional competence. TARGET LANGUAGE USE (TLU) SITUATION The domain is broadly defined as ‘English on the job’. TLU situation means using English in the professional field of military-related contexts and English for social and everyday communicative needs. DESCRIPTION OF THE TEST TAKER 4 The test is designed for military and civilian personnel in the MoD and the Bulgarian Armed Forces who may take part in PfP exercises or operations, or work in multinational staffs, and those who are required to reach a level of English language proficiency as prescribed by the Personnel Policy Directorate of the Ministry of Defence. It is recommended that each candidate should have a minimum of 200 hours of English language instruction prior to taking the test. This can take the form of either formal taught classes or self study. TEST BATTERY The test battery consists of 4 sections testing the four language skills: Reading 90 minutes Listening 30 minutes Writing 60 minutes Speaking 20 minutes Sections appear in the above order at the exam. Candidates are given a level for each of the four skills. LISTENING SECTION PURPOSE The aim of the Listening Section of the test is to measure the overall listening comprehension ability of the candidate according to specific criteria and levels of understanding as designated by STANAG 6001. CONSTRUCT The assessment aims at testing the ability to recognise the communicative functions of speech according to situations, participant(s), goals, and, to identify relationships among units within discourse (e.g. main ideas, supporting ideas, generalisations, hypotheses, examples) in real time with a variety of native and non-native accents. 5 DESCRIPTION OF THE LISTENING PROFICIENCY LEVELS 0 – no practical The candidate has no practical ability to comprehend proficiency communication. Understanding is difficult and limited to occasional isolated words and/or short memorised utterances in areas of immediate needs. Requires frequent repetition and long pauses between familiar phrases. 1 - elementary The candidate can understand common familiar phrases and short simple sentences about everyday needs related to personal and survival areas. Can adequately understand concrete utterances, simple questions and answers, and very simple conversations. The candidate is aware of basic cohesive devices. Often misunderstands both the main idea and supporting facts. 2 - fair The candidate can understand texts for simple social (limited working) and routine job needs. Can comprehend the gist of texts in familiar subject-matter fields, follow essential points of discussion or speech, distinguish main idea(s) from supporting details as well as comprehend specifics and make simple inferences. Can understand a wide variety of concrete topics, such as personal and family news, public matters of personal and general interest, and routine work matters presented through descriptions of persons, places, and things; and narration of current, past and future events. Can recognise cohesive devices and organising markers for more complex speech. Can only occasionally understand words and phrases of statements made in unfavourable conditions (for example, with background noise, interference or rapid speech). 3 – good The candidate can understand most formal and (minimum professional) informal speech on practical, social and general professional topics as well as abstract concepts. Can accurately follow the essentials of conversations, lectures on general subjects and special fields of competence, occasionally distorted telephone calls, and media broadcasts. Can generally draw valid conclusions, inferences and implications from context and deduce causes and effects from events. The candidate can fairly accurately follow argumentation and hypothesising. Can broadly distinguish between different stylistic levels. Can often recognise a speaker’s attitude towards the subject matter. May not always understand rapid speech, slang, regionalisms or dialect. 4 - very good The candidate is highly proficient and well aware of all 6 (full professional) forms and styles of speech for professional purposes. Can understand language specifically tailored for various types of audiences, including that intended for persuasion, representation and counselling. Can easily adjust to shifts of subject matter and tone. Can understand utterances from a wide spectrum of complex language and readily recognises nuances of meaning. Can detect speaker’s attitude toward the subject matter, and can comprehend a wide range of accents. TASK TYPES From the following: Multiple Choice Questions (4 options), Short Answer Questions, Table Completion, Matching & Gap Filling. Each text uses only one task. NUMBER OF ITEMS Not more than 60 items. TIME 30 minutes TEXT TYPES All texts are to be taken from authentic sources edited if necessary, and recorded in accordance with copyright laws. Texts can be monologues or dialogues (or both) and include: telephone conversations, directions, announcements, messages, commentaries, interviews, briefings, instructions, lectures, reports & speeches. TOPICS Topics used in texts will be drawn from the following areas: General English in a military context (technical terminology may occur but is not tested), Global Affairs, Social Interaction, General Professional Work & Daily Life. RUBRICS All instructions are given in simple unambiguous English with wording on the paper identical to that on the tape, including the example. The tape, once started, does not stop for any reason. Candidates will hear: The type of text they are going to listen to The number of times they will hear the text What they are expected to do The length of pauses and the time they will have to read through their answers When they are expected to answer 7 MARKING SCHEME Each correct answer receives 1 mark. READING SECTION PURPOSE The aim of the Reading Section of the test is to measure the overall reading comprehension ability of the candidate according to specific criteria and levels of understanding as designated by STANAG 6001. CONSTRUCT The assessment aims at testing the ability to recognise and understand the communicative functions of reading materials within the Target Language Use Situation. The candidate is 8 expected to demonstrate ability to read for global understanding, specifics, identifying main idea(s) and supporting details, inferencing as well as understanding textual cohesion and coherence under timed conditions. DESCRIPTION OF THE READING PROFICIENCY LEVELS 0 – no practical The candidate has no practical ability to understand proficiency reading materials. Can only read some or all of the following: numbers, isolated words and phrases, personal and place names, signs, office and shop designations. 1 - elementary The candidate shows sufficient comprehension in reading simple and short edited texts approximate to elementary lesson material related to everyday survival and workplace situations. Can understand basic meaning of simple texts and some specific details. Can sometimes guess the meaning of words from simple context. May be able to identify major topics in some higher-level texts. However, may misunderstand some simple texts. 2 – fair The candidate can understand authentic or slightly (limited working) edited straightforward texts, adequate for intermediate lesson material with basic grammatical structures and main organisational characteristics. Can understand factual details, main ideas and can make simple inferences. Comprehension of high frequency job-related language is satisfactory. May misunderstand some information in the text. 3 – good The candidate can read authentic texts with a large (minimum professional) degree of independence, understand a wide range of texts both of professional and general human interest nature with a variety of functions such as inferencing, hypothesising, argumentation and various forms of elaboration. The candidate has active reading vocabulary, and understanding of complex grammatical structures and textual organisation adequate for advanced lesson material. Can demonstrate understanding of abstract concepts in texts. Can generally distinguish between different stylistic levels. Can get the gist of higher-level, sophisticated texts, but may be unable to detect all nuances. 4 - very good The candidate is highly proficient in understanding 9 (full professional) complex texts used for professional purposes including texts from unfamiliar general and professional-specialist area, with military and professional-specialist terminology, and idiomatic expressions including less frequently used idioms. Can adequately and readily interpret explicit as well as implicit meanings. Shows awareness of structural and lexical appropriacy, register and stylistic nuances in all professional texts. Can recognise irony and humour in texts. TASK TYPES Tasks are chosen from the following types: Multiple Choice Questions (4 options), Short Answer Questions, Gap-filling, Matching, Table Completion, Linking & Sequencing. Each text may have more than one task type. NUMBER OF ITEMS Not more than 60 items. TIME 90 minutes TEXT TYPES All texts should be taken from authentic sources in accordance with copyright laws. Texts should be drawn from the following: signs, tourist leaflets & guide books, newspapers and magazines, reports, accounts, manuals & briefings. Contexts may contain topics from such areas as the military, politics, economics, culture, science and technology. NUMBER OF TEXTS The Reading Section consists of a minimum of 4 texts of different length and difficulty. LENGTH OF TEXTS The number of words for the whole Reading Section should approximately be 2000 in total. RUBRICS The instructions for each task including the example are written in simple unambiguous English on the answer sheet. MARKING SCHEME Each correct answer receives 1 mark. 10 WRITING SECTION PURPOSE The aim of the Writing Section of the test is to measure the overall linguistic proficiency of the candidate in writing according to specific criteria and levels of understanding as designated by STANAG 6001. 11 CONSTRUCT The assessment aims at testing the communicative ability of the candidate to write fluently and effectively in everyday and professional life. The candidate is expected to produce coherent and meaningful texts using appropriate format, register and style, grammatical structures and vocabulary. DESCRIPTION OF THE WRITING PROFICIENCY LEVELS 0 - no practical The candidate has no practical proficiency to communicate proficiency in written form. Can only write numbers, dates, own name, nationality, address, etc., such as requested on registration forms as well as memorised phrases or a few short sentences. 1 – elementary The candidate can write to meet immediate personal needs. Examples include writing short notes, post cards, short personal letters, phone messages and invitations as well as filling out forms. Can convey basic intention on a given topic by writing short, simple sentences/phrases sometimes joined by common linking words at the paragraph level. Can use very simple structures, punctuation and high frequency vocabulary. Errors in spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are frequent. 2 – fair The candidate can write simple personal (formal/informal) (limited working) and routine workplace correspondence and related documents, such as memos and brief reports. Can state facts; give instructions; describe people, places, things; can narrate current, past and future activities in complete, simple paragraphs. Can combine and link sentences and paragraphs into connected prose. May have roughly organised ideas according to major points or straightforward sequencing of events. Demonstrates good control of simple grammatical structures and inaccurately uses or avoids more complex structures. Vocabulary use is appropriate for everyday topics and limited professional needs. Errors in spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation may sometimes distort meaning. 3 – good The candidate can write to meet general professional needs. (minimum professional) Can write effective formal and informal correspondence and documents on professional, practical and social topics. Can convey abstract concepts when writing about complex topics as well as in the professional field. Can express correct meaning, ideas and supporting details coherently using a wide range of cohesive 12 devices. Can use appropriate style and register for commenting on a given topic, or writing an essay- length argumentation / analysis / hypothesis / detailed explanation, or narration, or description. Demonstrates sufficient control of complex grammatical structures, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation to convey the message accurately. Errors are occasional and do not interfere with comprehension. 4 – very good The candidate is highly proficient in writing job-related texts (full professional) for all professional purposes including the representation of an official policy or point of view. The candidate can write precise and accurate reports, and final drafts of official documents. Can use the written language to persuade others and to elaborate on abstract concepts. Almost completely controls complex grammatical structures and organises extended texts well. Can easily use idiomatic language and express shades of meaning. Shows a firm grasp of various levels of style and register. NUMBER OF TASKS There are 3 tasks. TIME 60 minutes TYPES OF TASKS For task 1 candidates are presented with one of the following: writing a short note, message or a form completion. For task 2 candidates have to write an informal/formal letter or a memo on a given topic in approximately 150 words. For task 3 candidates are presented with one of the following tasks: commenting on a given topic, an essay- length argumentation, agreement/disagreement, analysis, hypothesis, detailed explanation, in approximately 250 words. RUBRICS The instructions for each task are written in simple unambiguous English on the answer sheet. MARKING SCHEME Test papers are double-marked by a minimum of two qualified examiners using a global interpretation scale 13 based on the STANAG 6001 language descriptors and the following criteria: task completion, vocabulary choice, grammatical structures, register and style, spelling. SPEAKING SECTION PURPOSE The aim of the Speaking Section of the test is to measure the overall communicative competence of the candidate in speaking according to specific criteria and levels of understanding as designated by STANAG 6001. 14 CONSTRUCT The assessment aims at testing the ability of the candidate to communicate fluently and effectively in speech in everyday and professional life within the Target Language Use Situation. The candidate is expected to actively interact using spoken discourse with a variety of discourse patterns and strategies, appropriate grammatical structures and vocabulary, register and style. DESCRIPTION OF THE SPEAKING PROFICIENCY LEVELS 0 - no practical The candidate has no practical proficiency for oral proficiency communication. Can barely satisfy immediate survival needs. Can ask questions and make statements with reasonable accuracy only with memorised utterances. 1 – elementary The candidate can participate in simple communication in typical everyday and simple workplace conversations. Can begin, maintain, and close short conversations by asking and answering short simple questions. Can typically satisfy simple, personal and accommodation needs; meet minimum courtesy, introduction, and identification requirements; exchange greetings; elicit and provide skeletal biographical information; ask for goods, services, and assistance; request information and clarification; express agreement, disagreement and confirmation. Can speak at the sentence level using high frequency vocabulary and basic grammar. Can join two or more simple, short sentences by more commonly-used linking words. Frequent errors in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar often distort meaning. Speech is often characterised by hesitations, erratic word order, frequent pauses, straining and groping for words. Interaction is highly limited. 2 – fair The candidate can communicate in everyday social and (limited working) routine workplace situations. Can describe people, places, and things; narrate current, past, and future activities in complete but simple paragraphs; state facts, compare and contrast; give straightforward as well as complicated and detailed instructions and directions. Can combine and link sentences into paragraph-length discourse. Can successfully use common discourse markers and cohesive devices. Simple structures and basic grammatical relations are typically controlled, while more complex structures are used inaccurately or avoided. Vocabulary 15 use is appropriate for high frequency utterances in everyday social and routine workplace situations but unusual or imprecise at other times. Errors in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar may sometimes distort meaning. 3 – good The candidate can effectively communicate in most formal (minimum professional) and informal conversations for practical, social, and professional needs. Can discuss particular interests and special fields of competence with considerable ease. Can use the language to use such common communicative functions as clarifying points, justifying decisions, responding to challenges, supporting opinion, stating and defending policy. Can demonstrate language competence when conducting meetings, delivering briefings or other extended and elaborate monologues, hypothesising. Can convey abstract concepts in discussions of complex general and professional topics. Can use cohesive devices flexibly. Can communicate clearly and naturally using broad vocabulary including common idioms. The candidate is aware of style and register. Errors may sometimes occur in pronunciation, vocabulary and low-frequency or highly complex structures without distorting meaning. 4 – very good The candidate can use language with great precision, (full professional) accuracy and fluency for all professional purposes including the representation of an official policy or point of view. Demonstrates the language skills needed to counsel, persuade others, negotiate, lecture, brief, debate, elaborate on abstract concepts, and advocate a position at length. Can convey meaning effectively using broad, precise and appropriate vocabulary as well as complex grammatical structures. Can organise discourse well speaking effortlessly and smoothly with a firm grasp of various levels of style. Errors seldom occur and they do not interfere with intelligibility. TYPES OF TASKS There is one task. It is a 5-stage interview. 1. Warm up/Introduction This stage is in the form of simple direct questions about background information of the candidate to allow him/her to become accustomed to the examiner’s voice, accent, speed of delivery. 16 2. Extended Discourse The examiner selects (at random) from general areas such as Home Town, Family, Traffic and Transportation, Leisure Time and Entertainment, Sports, Environment as well as from military areas such as Military Training and Military Career, Jobs and Duties, Participation in NATO and PfP Operations, Missions and Exercises, the UN’s role in Peacetime. The candidate is asked to talk about the topic as a result of a general request for information, and not of opinion (though stronger candidates may be able to do this). The questions allow the candidate to take the lead in the conversation. Rehearsed speech is interrupted and is not given any credit. If the candidate clearly fails at this stage the examiner may proceed to the final stage. 3. Role Play The candidate is asked to adopt one of a number of roles described in a situation on a cue card. The examiner plays a complimentary role. The candidate’s task is to try and elicit information from the examiner. Each candidate is evaluated in terms of the variety of question forms they can use, ability to paraphrase, rephrase etc. 4. Eliciting Future Plans, Opinions & Comments The candidate is given the opportunity to demonstrate an ability to comment on military topics, structure a reasoned argument, and to express and support an opinion/argument with relevant facts, examples and details. The candidate should be able to discuss personal future plans. 5. Ending the Interview TIME 20 minutes MARKING SCHEME Candidates are assessed by a minimum of two qualified examiners using a global interpretation scale based on the 17 STANAG 6001 language descriptors and the following criteria: communicative skills, vocabulary choice, grammatical structures, register and style, pronunciation. 18 2 «NATIONAL Full time instruction for Officials from the ministries, departments, units acquiring educational degree and organizations, related to the national SECURITY «Master» in the professional security, the central and the local public field «National security» in the administration (categories,A1-B4 and units AND higher education area «Security and Defence» and qualifications leaders), dealing with planning, organizing and DEFENCE« for: conducting activities in relation to the national Analysing, developing, and security, Defence crises management, armed conducting the policy on forces use and development. PROGRAMM international and national Journalists, professional politicians and experts to security issues; the political parties, as well as academic T E Decision making in the representatives and members of non- sphere of national Defence governmental organisations, willing to specialise and armed forces use; in the security and Defence matters. The Public administration in the applicants must have educational degrees Ministry of Defence; Defence resources «Bachelor» and «Master» in other fields, related to b management; the national and international security in the Strategic leadership in the broad understanding of this concept. sphere of Defence and security. t Appicants must successfully take the entrance exam. The lists of the admitted candidates from the different establishments and the aoolications of the individual candidates must be submitted at the the «G'S'Rakovski» Defence and Staff College unril.April 01. 2003. The The candidates will be given detailed information and materials for the exam preparation. The examination will be held in June. 19 3 NATIONAL Part-time instruction for Officials from the ministries, departments, units acquiring educational degree and organizations, related to the national SECURITY «Master» in the professional security, the central and the local public field «National security» in the administration (categories,A1-B4 and units AND higher education area «Security and Defence» and qualifications leaders), dealing with planning, organizing and a DEFENCE» for: conducting activities in relation to the national Analysing, developing, and security, Defence crises management, armed conducting the policy on forces use and development. PROGRAMM international and national Journalists, professional politicians and experts to security issues; the political parties, as well as academic – E Decision making in the representatives and members of non- sphere of national Defence governmental organisations, willing to specialise and armed forces use; in the security and Defence matters. The Public administration in the applicants must have educational degrees Ministryof Defence; Defence resources «Bachelor» and «Master» in other fields, related to management; the national and international security in the Strategic leadership in the broad understanding of this concept. sphere of Defence and security. Appicants must successfully take the entrance exam in computer literacy, working in an Internet media inclusive.They must have personal computer with a constant high-speed Internet access with an installed camcorder, microphone and loudspeakers. The lists of the admitted candidates from the different establishments and the aoolications of the individual candidates must be submitted at the the «G'S'Rakovski» Defence and Staff College unril.April 01. 2003. The The candidates will be given detailed information and materials for the exam preparation. B. JOB DESCRIPTION *** 20 4 ARMED FORCES Preparation of civilians for execution Civilians from the commands and units, expected to RESOURCES COMPLETION of functional duties in completing take up or already appointed to positions COURSE the armed forces in peace and war responsible for troops completion. time. The course is designed to train specialists in : organization and staffing, armament and battle equipment in the BA; o regulations for the completion of the forces in peace and war time; t completion of troops and forces a in NATO; l principles and procedures dealing with the commands and a local administration when completing the troops and forces; work with formalized documents a related to the completion of troops and forces; use of computers and other electronic carriers. 21 5 DEFENCE Qualificayion course for civilians-in Civilians from the defence and mobilization AND charge of Defence and mobilization training units in the administration categories A1- MOBILIZATIO training units. B4 and mayors in administration categories C1-C4 N TRAINING The course is designed to train COURSE specialists in: Organization and staffing, armament and battle equipment 6 in BA; Regulations of the Defence and mobilization training; Defence and mobilization t training in NATO; Principles and procedures of dealing with the ministry of Defence, installations, a commands and the local administration when planning and carrying out the Defence and mobilization training; Work with formalized documents in ………… Use of computer and other electronic carriers. C. TASK-ORIENTED QUALIFICATION *** 22 6 EARLY A course for civilians training from Civivlians from departments, bodies and WARNING departments and organizations from organizations from the National Security System AND CRISES the nationalsecurity system, heads (categories A!-B4), heads of societies and MANAGEMEN of communities and organizations, organizations, teachers and researchers. T COURSE teachers and researchers on crises management matters. The course is designed to train specialists in: Theoretical and applied o knowledge in crises management; National system for crises management; Crises management regulations; Concept of NATO, EU, OSCE and UN on crises management; Participation of Bulgaria and the armed forces in arbitration crises management under the auspices s of UN and OSCE, as well as in NATO structures and EU forces; Armed forces participation in different type crises on the country territoty; Crises management preparation; Crisis management specifics; Strategies and methods in crises managements 7 INTERNATIO Course for acquiring qualifications Civilians from public administration offices (A1-B4) NAL AND in the legal area of peace-support and heads of societies and organizations, whose job HUMANITARIA operations. description is related to direct participation in N LAW The course is designed to qualify peace-support operations and their provision. COURSE IN experst in: Representatives from legislative and judicial PEACE Legal constraints for the use of authorities as well as members of national media SUPPORT military force in the different and non-governmental organizations. OPERATIONS kinds of peace-support o operations with the participation of contingents; Курс за придобиване на квалификация в областта на правните аспекти на умиротворителните операции; The legal algorythm for the harmonizing of the International humanitarian law with the national judicial system of s Bulgaria and its implementation as a NATO member. ; 23 8 COURSE IN a preparation course on Civilian teachers and researchers, experts in INFORMATION informational operational issues at general and specialized administration and AL international level with armed specialists in military industry. OPERATIONS forces participation and in the . AT NATINAL architecture of the systems for LEVEL WITH command, control, communications, THE computers and inteligence.(C4I) PARTICIPATIO The course is designed to prepare o N OF ARMED experts in: FORCES AND Issues in information operations C4I in the NATO frames and the ARCHITECTUR potential of the Bulgarian armed E forces to participate; Planning and conducting of information operations; C4I architecture and systems in BA and NATO. s 24