HSE University Launches Linguatest, a Domestic Foreign-Language Testing System
Linguatest is available in two versions: academic and business. It can be taken in person at dedicated centres or online in proctored sessions. Registration in now open for the first exam sessions in Moscow in December 2022.
HSE University has created and developed the new testing system in cooperation with the National Accreditation Agency for Education and the Prosveshcheniye publishing group. The partners spoke about the project at a TASS press conference and signed an agreement on cooperation.
The Russian certification testing system was conceived by the HSE School of Foreign Languages, said HSE Rector Nikita Anisimov. Its main purpose is to replace the foreign systems that used to operate in Russia to allow applicants to confirm their level of business and academic English. Unlike similar foreign systems, Linguatest will keep data on those who take the test in Russia.
HSE University has been conducting independent assessments of its students’ English proficiency for the past ten years. Each HSE undergraduate student must take the exam regardless of their programme of study. ‘We have gained solid experience of running various tests and training experts. Now, we want to make this system available to the whole country,’ the HSE rector explained. He added that no complaints had been received from students or employers in the ten years of the assessment project’s operation.
The test can be taken either in specially equipped centres or during proctored online sessions. Sign-up for testing is currently available in Moscow. More centres will appear in other regions soon, primarily in those where HSE University has its campuses. Nikita Anisimov said that a new centre would open its doors in Nizhny Novgorod as early as January 2023.
‘We expect that the certificate will help people build their personal trajectory, ensure mobility in education, and simplify the dialogue with employers. Our next step will be to develop proficiency tests for other foreign languages, including Russian for non-native speakers. This will help us promote Russian as a language of international communication,’ concluded Nikita Anisimov.
Test certificates will show the final score, as well as scores for each type of speech activity (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). According to Lemka Izmailova, Director of the National Accreditation Agency for Education, the first batch of candidates (registration for the exams in mid-December is now open) will get a paper version of the certificate. In the future, it will only be issued electronically; candidates will be able to print it out from their personal account.
Linguatest has two versions: academic (English for academic and research work) and business (English in business and corporate communication). According to the director of the National Accreditation Agency, the advantages of the test go beyond including the certificate in resumes and using it for business trips abroad. ‘Nowadays, proof of language and communicative competence promotes personal enrichment and professional growth,’ she believes.
The Prosveshcheniye publishing house is also involved in the project to launch the certification testing system. According to Mikhail Kozhevnikov, President of the Prosveshcheniye Group, this is a common practice for publishing houses worldwide and the first experience of international knowledge certification at the high-school level in Russia.
‘The task is to bring this certificate to the international level. This is quite challenging. Russia has never been allowed into this market before, but now we are doing it without asking anyone,’ he explained. Mikhail Kozhevnikov is certain that Linguatest certificates will be recognised and accepted by Russian and foreign employers alike.
Prosveshcheniye is responsible for the methodological materials of the test. Any international exam involves preparation, and even native speakers can fail if they do not know its potential traps and pitfalls.
The participants of the press conference noted that following the certification testing in foreign languages, it is necessary to create similar domestic systems in other branches of knowledge and economics. Mikhail Kozhevnikov mentioned engineering, medicine, finance, and Nikita Anisimov gave the example of the Data Culture exam, which all HSE students must take (similarly to the English language exam). In the HSE rector’s opinion, it is also important for everyone to have financial and legal literacy.
According to Nikita Anisimov, certification testing systems can be compared with university rankings: in both cases, there are different methods, approaches, databases, and owners. Lemka Izmailova said that the new Russian systems have already attracted interest in Belarus and Kazakhstan, while interest from other countries will grow as the project develops. ‘We are not going to limit our project to Russia only—we are open to all those who want to be tested. I think we will see foreign participants in the next session,’ she said.
Maria Belousova, an applicant from Uzbekistan, will become a first-year student at HSE University in autumn 2021. She will study at the HSE University Moscow campus in the School of Foreign Languages. The News Service asked Maria why she chose HSE University, why she was interested in her chosen educational programme and how difficult it was to apply for University remotely.
HSE University Teaches Languages As a System, an Instrument of Communication, And As a Reflection of Culture
The Bachelor’s programme in Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communications, offered by the HSE Faculty of Humanities, is popular not only with Russian and international applicants alike. The programme helps students develop a broad outlook, as well as their communicative and analytical skills. The curriculum focuses on language teaching, translation and interpreting, intercultural business communication, and text creation. In an interview with HSE News Service, two international students talk about what attracted them to the programme and what they like about their studies, HSE University, and Moscow.
Improve your German, learn Chinese from scratch, or dive into business English – these are just some of the options offered by the HSE School of Foreign Languages’ Centre for Language and Methodology Training. HSE News Service talked to Tatyana Baranovskaya, Head of the Centre, and Ekaterina Kolesnikova, Head of the School of Foreign Languages, about their new programmes and the centre’s goals.
Tatiana Shakhova, a third-year student in HSE’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, has won the 2015 Labcitoyen competition. This year’s Labcitoyen competition was carried out by the Institut Français (Paris) and the Institut Français of Russia as part of preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, scheduled to take place in Paris in November and December 2015. The grand prize was a trip to Paris to attend the conference.