EIKEN Foundation of Japan
English Language Proficiency Test IELTS
Over 2 million tests taken globally
—Now used by the University of Tokyo and more than 30 other top institutions in Japan—
The global operators of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) announced on May 28, 2013 that more than 2 million IELTS tests were taken in the year from June 2012 through May 2013. This is an increase of 11% on the previous 12 months and marks the eighteenth year of consecutive growth in IELTS test numbers. IELTS, a test used internationally to assess English language proficiency for purposes such as study abroad and migration, is now one of the world’s most popular English tests.
In Japan, IELTS is operated jointly by two not-for-profit organizations: the British Council (international cultural exchange organization; Japan office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; Japan Director: Jeff Streeter), and the EIKEN Foundation of Japan (public interest incorporated foundation; head office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; Chairman: Naoji Yui). The number of IELTS tests taken in Japan has been growing year by year.
The University of Tokyo’s College of Arts and Sciences began using IELTS in the 2013 academic year to test the overall English language proficiency of its 300 new enrolees. More than 30 of Japan’s other globally-minded universities, including Kyoto University, Osaka University, and International Christian University, already hold IELTS testing sessions for their students.
One feature of IELTS is its speaking component. This section of the test is conducted interactively with a native speaker of English, rather than a computer program, enabling English proficiency to be assessed in a format closely approximating real-life communication. Because IELTS provides a comprehensive assessment of English proficiency, the test is said to be difficult to prepare for solely with a view to boosting one’s score. The key to success in IELTS is to acquire an integrated range of English language skills. The test thus offers an evaluation of genuine proficiency in English, and is increasingly used by universities as a means to assess skills of English negotiation and logic.
IELTS is now used as a reliable measure of real-life English communication proficiency by around 8,000 educational institutions, international organs and governmental departments and agencies in 135 countries and regions. It is approved for use in around 3,000 courses in the United States, including courses at all Ivy League universities (Brown University, Colombia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University).
The British Council and EIKEN Foundation of Japan hope that many young Japanese will use IELTS to develop world-class English language skills and step out onto the global stage. Both organizations will continue to supply information on IELTS to institutional clients in Japan, and work to achieve more widespread usage of the test and recognition of its effectiveness.
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
IELTS is a test used internationally to assess English language proficiency for purposes such as study abroad and migration. It is one of the most popular tests worldwide, and a global leader in the field of English language proficiency testing. More than 2 million IELTS tests are conducted across the world annually (as of May 2013). The test has a global reputation for consistency and fairness, and has been adopted as a reliable measure of real-life English communication proficiency by around 8,000 educational institutions, international organs, and governmental departments and agencies in 135 countries and regions including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The test is operated jointly by the British Council, IDP IELTS Australia, and Cambridge English Language Assessment.
IELTS is not a pass/fail test. It provides separate assessments of listening, reading, writing, and speaking abilities on a band of 1 through 9, with a band score of 1 indicating that the candidate has zero English ability, and 9 suggesting fluency comparable to a native speaker of English. Scores in the four sections of the test are averaged to produce an overall test score.
In Japan, IELTS has been conducted jointly by the EIKEN Foundation of Japan and the British Council since April 2010.
About the EIKEN Foundation of Japan
The EIKEN Foundation of Japan is a public interest incorporated foundation established in April 1963 with the goal of popularizing and improving practical usage of English. It is engaged principally in operating and issuing certifications for the Test in Practical English Proficiency, widely known by its Japanese abbreviation “EIKEN.” The foundation also operates Jidō EIKEN, a listening test in a game-like format for children, and BULATS, an English proficiency test designed for businesspeople.
Official website: www.eiken.or.jp