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English Proficiency Rises in the UAE

English proficiency in UAE is increasing according to new data from the world’s most popular high stakes English language test, IELTS (the International English Language Testing System). The results achieved by UAE IELTS test takers in 2011 show that proficiency in all four areas of English language - reading, writing, speaking and listening - has increased since 2010. Out of the 40 countries the data is collected from, UAE test takers showed the highest increase of English proficiency skills. The IELTS partners said the results reinforced IELTS as the world’s premier English language test. "Results from 2011 show UAE test takers increased their average scores across all four language skills which is a credit to the work students are putting into their English studies," British Council’s Philip Rylah said. "More and more people each year in the UAE are choosing to sit IELTS and increase their global education and employment opportunities. IELTS results can open doors for people to study in the USA, UK or Australia, or obtain a visa to live and work in places such as Canada or Australia," John Belleville, IDP: IELTS Australia, added. "We undergo an extensive range of test research and test development so candidates and recognising organisations alike can be confident all results are accurate and reliable. IELTS is designed to encourage test takers to enhance their real world English effectively," Cambridge ESOL’s Mike Milanovic concluded. The average IELTS score in the UAE increased from 5.1 to 6.3 on the IELTS scale from 1 to 9 in 2011. The biggest improvement was in speaking skills, which increased to an average score of 7, and was the strongest competency amongst people in UAE taking the test in 2011. Data is taken from test takers who sat the IELTS academic test. There are 19 IELTS test centres located across the UAE including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. IELTS test results are requested by more than 7,000 education institutions, governments and employers around the globe to provide accurate and reliable measurement of English language proficiency. More than 1.7 million IELTS tests were sat in 2011, a 12% increase compared to 2010. The full analysis of 2011 test data can be viewed at IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s most popular high stakes English language test. 7,000 organisations recognise IELTS as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true to life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation. IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL). British Council is the UK’s international organisation for education and cultural relations. Dedicated to building trust through the exchange of knowledge between people worldwide, the British Council is represented in more than 100 countries.

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