Business English Certificates
More than ever, a good knowledge of English is needed to succeed in international business and commerce. Employees who can show they have relevant language skills have a great advantage in the jobs market at home and much greater flexibility if they want to work abroad. An internationally recognised business qualification can help employees show they have learned English to an appropriate standard and can use it in a professional context.
Cambridge ESOL's Business English Certificates （BEC） can provide just such evidence of English language ability within the business context. Suitable for adults who are either preparing for a career in business or already in work, BEC is available at three levels – BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage and BEC Higher. Candidates can therefore choose an exam that matches their level of English language skills and their professional needs.
Real English in the business context
As with the Cambridge ESOL Main Suite exams, BEC assesses all four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing – but in a business context. The 'business’ aspect of the exam affects the vocabulary, the types of texts selected and the situations presented in the tasks. At the same time, BEC features the same high quality assessment standards of all Cambridge ESOL exams, is internationally recognised and provides an ideal focus for courses in Business English.
Common European Framework
All three levels of BEC relate to exams within the Cambridge ESOL Main Suite. They are also clearly linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, published by the Council of Europe.
[Insert here the table from the Cambridge ESOL ppt presentation that shows the Cambridge ESOL exams and their Council of Europe levels]
These levels are linked to extensive 'Can Do’ statements that specify what certificate holders are typically able to do in English at each level. Here are some examples at Council of Europe Level B1 （BEC Preliminary）:
|· Can take and pass on most messages that are likely to require attention during a normal working day
· Can take part in a routine meeting or seminar on familiar topics, exchanging factual information through question and answer or through receiving instructions
· Can express his/her own opinion, and present arguments to a limited extent
|· Can understand standard types of letters such as orders, complaints, appointments, enquiries, etc. and pass these on to the appropriate person for action
· Can understand the general meaning of reports dealing with, for example, conditions and advice
· Can understand instructions, procedures, etc. within own job area
|· Can write a non-routine letter where this is restricted to matters of fact|
· Can write a report of a factual nature, but if the report is for external consumption his/her work will require checking and correcting
· Can draft straightforward instructions, regulations, etc.
ASEP is a recent addition to the list of organisations that recognise the value of BEC. BEC is already used by hundreds of employers around the world, either as part of their staff development programmes or as a qualification that they look for when recruiting staff. Many universities and colleges in English-speaking countries and elsewhere also accept BEC Higher as evidence of a sufficient level of English to complete business-related courses in English.