Chile: Investing in English with High Success

A simple database created a decade ago using TOEIC has become one driver for skyrocketing foreign direct investment in Chile. Such investment quadrupled to around $15 billion in the seven years between 2003 and 2010 and reached over $28 billion in 2012.

In creating this database, the National Register of English Speakers, the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO) was acting on the realization that lack of information on English language proficiency of job candidates was affecting Chile’s growth. Some companies had stated that the sole reason they did not outsource business to Chile was because they were unable to assess the English language skills of Chile’s workforce.

After a thorough evaluation of English language certification exams, CORFO selected the TOEIC test as the most appropriate tool for effectively showing how well Chile’s workforce could communicate in the global workplace.

TOEIC is a key metric in the database, which contains TOEIC test scores along with individual personal, educational, and professional data. Test takers are categorized as being at one of four English levels depending on their score, and need to achieve at least a 405 TOEIC Listening & Reading test score to be included in the registry:

  • General Professional Proficiency (Level 1 with scores of 905-990): Satisfactory performance in all situations whether professional or social. About 10 percent of the initial more than 21,600 test takers achieved this level.
  • Advanced Working Proficiency (Level 2, scores of 785-900): Satisfactory performance in the majority of work situations. About 20 percent of initial test takers were at this level.
  • Basic Working Proficiency (Level 3, scores of 605-780): Performance at a basic work level. Over 30 percent of initial test takers were at this level.
  • Intermediate (Level 4, scores of 405-600): Performance with some limitations in social and work settings. Over 25 percent of initial test takers were at this level.

The National Registry of English Language Speakers provides a simple way for international companies to locate potential employees with the level of language skills they need. Even those registrants not 100 percent fluent in English are more likely to be hired, because they have been identified with a level of fluency that is objectively proven and that can be matched with ability to perform typical real world workplace tasks.

TOEIC tests remain a key assessment for Chile as CORFO expands its efforts to not only measure but to also improve Chilean English skills. In 2013, over 10,000 Chilean vocational and professional graduates throughout the country are expected to complete training in the latest round of CORFO’s rapidly growing English Scholarships Program, and every one of the scholarship program participants will leave their English language study with a TOEIC certification.

Whether you're supporting country growth, making sure your company has good English speakers, helping learners prove their skills, or simply seeking a credential to get a better job, reach your goal using TOEIC; contact us today


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