View Poll Results: I think skilled migrants should have a minimum IELTS score of:

Voters
61. You may not vote on this poll
  • 9

    6 9.84%
  • 8

    6 9.84%
  • 7

    24 39.34%
  • 6.5

    15 24.59%
  • 6

    4 6.56%
  • 5

    3 4.92%
  • 4

    0 0%
  • 3

    1 1.64%
  • 2

    0 0%
  • 1

    0 0%
  • I don't think any English ability should be required for skilled migrants

    2 3.28%
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Thread: What minimum level of English do you think a skilled migrant should have?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    349

    Default What minimum level of English do you think a skilled migrant should have?

    As of November 30, The New Entrepreneur Plus Category for immigration requires a minimum English language ability of IELTS 4.

    For skilled migrants, the current requirement for principal applicants is a score of 6.5 or better.*

    If you were in charge of immigration, which band would you set as a minimum for skilled migrants?


    IELTS bands:

    IELTS 9 - Expert User
    Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.

    IELTS 8 - Very Good User
    Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

    IELTS 7 - Good User
    Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

    IELTS 6 - Competent User
    Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

    IELTS 5 - Modest User
    Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.

    IELTS 4 - Limited User
    Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.

    IELTS 3 - Extremely Limited User
    Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.

    IELTS 2 - Intermittent User
    No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

    IELTS 1 - Non User
    Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.

    IELTS 0 - Did not attempt the IELTS test
    No assessable information provided.



    * From the NZIS site:

    The principal applicant is the person making the application. If you are the principal applicant, you must meet our standards of English. The minimum standard of English is an International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) certificate, with a band score of 6.5 or better in the General or Academic modules. This certificate must be less than two years old.

    However, we may consider one of the following as evidence if you can show us that you:

    - have a recognised qualification from a course taught entirely in English,
    - have ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand, and have been in the job for at least the last 12 months, or
    - have other evidence proof of competency in English. We will consider a number of factors.

  2. #2

    Default

    Based on the description - 6. Based on experience - 8.

    Note that the question is about skilled migrants, which assumes that they will be seeking employment that will demand communication of some complexity and subtlety. Comparing this with a visa based on demonstrable business contributions or general migration visas doesn't seem that pertinent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    349

    Default

    No, I'm not intending a comparison. When I noticed the IELTS requirement in the new category, it got me wondering about what people think it should be for the skilled category - which is probably of greater interest to the majority of members here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Manchester > Now Tauranga
    Posts
    4,393

    Default

    I think it varies depending on the specific skill. 'Skilled Migrants' covers such a wide range, from medical through to skilled 'trades'. Some will require a lot of technical discussion, sometimes where time critical translation with others may have serious safety results, others, then there is the time to reword or repeat.

    So I personally don't think that they can have a system with so many different options, but that would be the fairest and most sensible approach IMHO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blenheim
    Posts
    1,575

    Default

    But for medical professions there is usually another IELTS score necessary anyway, as well as the academic part of the test, not the general.

    The whole IELTS- Test score question is very difficult to answer anyway, because it depends a lot of how good you prepare yourself for the test, how nervous you are, if you are in a good personal shape at that specific day, if you are a good listener, if the hearing part was spoken by someone with a broad accent (which happens...) etc.etc.

    We had both an overall score of '8' in the general test and I think that my vocabulary is limited compared to my husband's, but then I managed to listen and answer the questions at the sam time quite well, because I don't think as much as he does. But then again he had to do the academic test as well and scored '7'..., and the difference between the two test is "just" the written part.

    I still learn daily and I am never going to loose my accent and there are days when the words keep pooping up in my head in the wrong language...., but in general I guess the better your command of the language is, the easier is it going to be to settle. And the younger people are, the easier are they going to learn.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    UK->Whangarei->Auckland
    Posts
    1,016

    Default

    i think its probably about right at 6.5 but as the above posted there are so many factors, some people just practice well enough to pass the test which is silly IMO!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Christchurch (ex. Flitton, UK)
    Posts
    302

    Default

    I agree with Duncan74, it depends a lot on what you are going to do. I have worked with a few French and Spanish students in my old university, and even though they needed a score of 6.0 to get in, I wasn't always that impressed with their language skills. Spoken language was mostly okay, but written was a big struggle. Would they have been there for a job that requires little reading/writing, they would have done perfectly fine. Of course it being academia, we really had to help out a lot with the writing.

    What I am more surprised at is that they are happy for this new entrepeneur category to only have a score of 4. From the description this is a very limited language capability. Not to sound synical, but it really makes it look like you can buy your way in....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,691

    Default

    A bit off the subject here, but I would be really interested to know how well the gerenal public would perform on such a test if people were chosen at random across various socio-economic groups across the country, or any other English speaking countries for that matter. I wonder how many people are really 'Expert Users' or even 'Very Good Users' of their own language considering all of the appauling examples of spoken/written English and grammer displayed these days. IMO before this information is available it is very difficult to make a judgement as to what level Skilled Migrants should be expected to attain, especially when many professions also require additional testing in order to prove language competency. From the descriptions above, I would think the required levels are about right for most people.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The People's Republic
    Posts
    548

    Default

    e.g. Trademe.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    2,235

    Default

    I'd love to know how many Expert Users you'd get among the native speakers...

    I also think it is quite difficult to judge without knowing those tests and what difficulty each level actually is (I would consider myself an expert user, but I have no idea if my IELTS test result would agree with that )

    Daniela

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