British Council develops English language study using advanced technology to capture hard-to-reach demographics
London, UK and Oslo, Norway and New York, NY: 17 January 2017 British Council is developing the world’s first English language capability survey; research designed to evaluate levels of English reading, writing, speaking and listening around the world.
The ground-breaking study will use the Confirmit Horizons survey software platform to gather, collate and analyse survey responses. The English language tests and participant surveys will be conducted offline using tablet devices to ensure feedback can be gathered consistently in locations around the world, even where there is limited or variable internet access.
Elizabeth Shepherd, Senior Researcher at the British Council explains: “This research fulfils one of the British Council’s key charitable objectives, as outlined in our Royal Charter, to develop a wider knowledge of the English language around the world. While there is significant anecdotal evidence in this area, there is no structured, validated data, making this project an important step forward for us in understanding levels of English on a global scale.”
Confirmit has worked with the British Council for over 10 years providing bespoke survey software solutions across many projects. The British Council recognised that the unique offline capabilities of the Confirmit Horizons platform were an ideal way of supporting the complex, geographically dispersed nature of their English language research.
Tim Hannington, EVP at Confirmit, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support British Council in this first-of-its-kind study. The scale of this tablet-based offline programme is, in itself, highly innovative and is a great example of how offline survey technologies can provide a real advantage for hard-to-reach geographies and demographics.”
Currently in its testing phase, the data gathered from the English language study will be used to build a multi-dimensional profile of English language capability to help ministries of education and academic communities around the world understand the current levels of English capability in their regions. The data will also be used as a foundation for dialogue regarding the impact policy decisions can have on the development of learning systems: the curriculum, its delivery and assessment.