The Test Centre was formed in 2015 on the basis of the testing team which had been organising testing workshops for foreign language teachers and lecturers since 2011. The testing team also developed proficiency tests in order to test the language level of those students who come to study at the University of Tartu or want to go abroad as exchange students. The English Language Proficiency Test is for levels B2/C1 and is administered once a week.
In years 2011 – 2014 the language centres of four universities in Estonia (University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology) organised a joint project called “Harmonising the levels of teaching and testing foreign languages in higher education according to the CEFR”, which was funded by PRIMUS. Every year there was a joint training taught by internationally recognised professionals from ALTE and TestDaF. Participants learned about the CEFR levels, compiling language tests and administering them.
The Test Centre’s activities proceed from the needs of the foreign language teachers and are performed in ad hoc teams. Currently, there is a need to develop common standards for LSP (Language for Specific Purposes) tests and also the placement tests that would help students choose a language course according to their level.
At the moment, it is possible to take the International Russian Language Test TORFL at the Test Centre. We are exploring the opportunities to start administering an international English language test in the future.
The trainings that took place within the framework of the joint project funded by Primus:
January 2014 Achieving learning outcomes in multi-level foreign language teaching in universities. Trainer: David Horner.
June 2013 Practical Approach: Testing Speaking and Writing Skills in Academic Context. Trainers: Nicholas Underhill and Coreen Docherty (ALTE).
June 2012 Proficiency tests as forms of assessment. Trainer: Dr. Gabriele Kecker (Germany, TestDaF).
June 2011 Harmonising the levels of teaching and testing foreign languages in higher education according to the CEFR. Trainer: Prof. Barry O’Sullivan.