ECL


ECL Examination system 

ECL examination system is standardized test-system customized for the languages of the EU member states and the EU candidate countries. The test system is operated by the European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages (ECL) based on the recommendations of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

The ECL examination system was developed between 1983 and 1992 by an international team of language testing experts. Since 1999 the ECL is operating from the Foreign Language Secretariat, at the University of Pécs, Hungary. ECL is a full member of ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) and is an association of institutions representing European languages. 

General information on the ECL language exam

The ECL offers monolingual tests and gauges oral and written skills in various everyday situations, professional, work-related and personal situations.

ECL exam tests four skills, oral, listening, written and reading comprehension.

The development of tests is subject to strict quality standards to ensure tests are reliable, valid and comparable.

Langma offers ECL exam in the following languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, and Slovak.

Levels

The ECL measures the communicative language competences of a candidate primarily. ECL adapt the requirements at the various levels according to the Common European Framework:

A2 – Waystage

B1 – Threshold

B2 – Vantage

C1 – Effective Operational Proficiency

Examination components

The uniqueness of the ECL testing is that it does not include grammar tests or translation tasks. The test structure is the same on all levels. The oral exam consists of two parts in which oral and listening skills are assessed. In the written part of the test, written and reading skills are tested, and each skill has two tasks.

Oral test

A. Oral communication

A candidate must carry out interaction on any given topic or in the areas of interest specified for the given level. A test taker is expected to express his views with ease in the form of a monologue.

Candidates are interviewed in a group of two or three people. Two examiners assess the task, and they assess the performance of the candidates independently.

The test begins with an introduction or a warm-up session which is not assessed and this task takes about 3–5 minutes. The purpose of this task is to create a relaxed atmosphere and to get the candidates settled into the exam situation. 

The first task takes 5–8 minutes in which two candidates are asked to have a conversation on a given topic. The examiner provides guiding questions to facilitate the conversation between the examinees.

In the second task, which also takes 5–8 minutes, a test taker express his thoughts in the form of a monologue. An examiner may help the candidate in his speech with some questions.

The "Oral communication" subtest is evaluated according to the following five criteria:

a)  Formal accuracy (morphology and syntax)
0–5 points
b)  Oral accuracy (pronunciation, prosody, fluency)
0–5 points
c)  Vocabulary (range and fluency)
0–5 points
d)  Style (pragmatic and sociolinguistic aspects)
0–5 points
e)  Communicative effectiveness (task completion)
0–5 points

B. Listening comprehension

A test taker must demonstrate his ability to understand semi-authentic and authentic audio recordings. A candidate has to listen to each of the two recordings twice. The listening comprehension test consists of two different types of tasks (e.g., matching, multiple-choice questions, table filling/putting an X to where it is appropriate, sentence completion, short answers, etc.) with 10 items each.

A. Written communication

A candidate must write two texts of a given length and must adhere to the given bullet points. A printed dictionary may be used during the written task.

The subtest "Written communication" is evaluated according to the following five criteria:

a)  Formal accuracy (morphology and syntax)
0–5 points
b)  Written accuracy (text structuring and orthography)
0–5 points
c)  Vocabulary (range and fluency)
0–5 points
d)  Style (pragmatic and sociolinguistic aspects)
0–5 points
e)  Communicative effectiveness (task completion)
0–5 points

B. Reading comprehension

Candidates must demonstrate their ability to comprehend general texts at the given exam level and their ability to solve two different types of reading comprehension tasks without using a dictionary. The reading comprehension test consists of two different types of tasks (e.g., matching, banked gap-filling, multiple-choice questions, short answer, table filling/putting an X to where it is appropriate, sentence completion, etc.) with 10 items each.

Test format


A2
B1
B2
C1
Reading Comprehension




Time (minutes)
35
35
45
45
Number of tasks
2222
Number of words
400–600
500–700
800–1000
1000–1300
Correct answers
20202020

Writing comprehension




Time (minutes)
35
406075
Number of tasks
2222
Listening comprehension




Time (minutes)
15–20
20–25
25–30
30–35
Number of tasks
2222
Number of words
400–600
500–700
800–1000
1200–1500
Correct answers
20202020

Evaluation of the tests

The ECL exam system has a maximum of 25 points for each skill. The oral part is passed if the candidate reaches a minimum of 40% in both the skills of "oral communication" and "listening" tasks and achieves an average score of 60% overall. The written part is passed if the candidate reaches a minimum of 40% in both the skills of "written communication" and "reading comprehension" and achieves an average score of 60% overall. The complex test is successfully passed if the candidate has passed both parts of the examination as described above.

Skills score
Scores
Listening Comprehension
25 points
Oral Communication
25 points
Reading Comprehension
25 points
Written Communication
25 points

When only one of the examination parts is passed the candidate gets a certificate of the passed oral or written part exam.

Oral test

Listening Comprehension
25 points
Oral Communication
25 points
Pass mark
30 points – 60%
Minimum number of points per skill
10 points – 40%
Written test

Reading Comprehension
25 points
Written Communication
25 points
Pass mark
30 points – 60%
Minimum number of points per skill
10 points – 40%

Examination locations

The ECL exams can be taken at approximately 200 exam sites worldwide. In India Langma School of Languages is the ECL centre to conduct the test.

Exam periods

ECL exams are offered five times a year. The English and German ECL exams can be taken in each of the five exam periods. Exams in the other test languages are offered twice each year.

Examination periods
Languages
Levels
February
English, German
B1, B2, C1
April
German, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak and Spanish
A2, B1, B2, C1
June
English, German, Bulgarian, Czech and Hungarian
A2, B1, B2, C1
October
English, German
B1, B2, C1
December
Bulgarian, German, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Czech and Hungarian
A2, B1, B2, C1