Australian immigration’s approval to new English proficiency tests
Australia, 20th May: Australian immigration minister Chris Evans has finally approved alternative English tests for checking English proficiency of international students and overseas workers before granting them Australian visa.
With this latest announcement by Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship Minister Evans, the monopoly maintained by the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is likely to come to an end.
The recent decision by Australian immigration has sent a note of optimism to the representatives of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). TOEFL is a US-based English test dating back to 1964.
A TOEFL representative in Australia, Eileen Tyson expressed hope that TOEFL is likely to be used as in the context of Australian immigration since there isn’t any objective reason for not using it for Australian immigration.
Its being claimed by several TOEFL advocates that using IELTS might prove to be a disincentive for international students desirous of Australian student visas for studying in Australia having a TOEFL result. Another TOEFL representative in Australia, Helen Cook said that the Australian immigration department’s insistence on IELTS could prove to be disadvantageous for those wanting to have admission in an Australian university.
The IELTS had enjoyed a monopoly over various other tests of English language in Australia. However, after a few complaints concerning the falling levels of such tests which led to scrutiny over the provider of these tests.
Any person wanting to immigrate to Australia either through Australian student visa or Australian work visa is required to clear an English test in order to prove his level of English language up to the standards required by Australian immigration.
In April 2010, Australian immigration minister Evans had written to TOEFL and various other providers of English tests informing them of his support for accepting more than one test of English language as per Australian immigration rules, revealed an official spokesperson of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Meanwhile, there still remains some more work concerning the security of English language tests and the equivalence of scores of various tests before any final verdict is given by Australian immigration, the spokesperson added.