Testing Language Skills - Parrot

Testing Language Skills

How does Parrot evaluate language skills?

Testing Language Skills the Smart Way

We built Parrot to meet the needs of both organizations looking for highly-skilled speakers and those speakers themselves, who want to demonstrate their skill level with an authoritative credential. To that end we combined new tech with novel approaches to capturing and rating spoken responses. By finetuning these processes, we’ve made a brand new kind of online language proficiency test that’s making testing language skills easier, faster, and more accessible than ever before.

Here’s how we do it.

Secure, Remote Proctoring

Language skills are measured by having a trained rater observe a candidate speaking. It’s both impractical and expensive to do that in person. That’s why we’ve built a secure virtual proctoring system that allows your candidates to take a language test online at any time, on-demand, from any location. Our security measures ensure the candidate in question is the one speaking and our raters analyze their responses and provide results in less than 24 hours.

Triple-Verified Ratings

Every Parrot test is reviewed, rated, and confirmed by a minimum of three expert raters, at no extra cost. Our goal is to provide the most reliable and authoritative language certificate possible. Every Parrot rating carries the weight of not one opinion in isolation, but three independently confirmed, expert assessments.

A Better Designed Test

Parrot uses immersive prompts with both visual and auditory stimuli to generate responses that put the speaker in the types of situations they’ll face in the workplace. Thus, we analyze not their ability to carefully plan and produce language, but their ability to use language in the same way they will on the job. And despite the pressure that comes from being tested, the test taker has an engaging and pleasant experience, because the test is designed to look great and be easy to use..

Our Rating Scale

Parrot uses the language testing levels established by the US government’s preferred interagency authority on langauge testing: the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR). The ILR scale measures speaking proficiency on a scale from 0-5, with a base and “plus” rating for each number. Since we’re testing language skills for the workplace, we isolate the range relevant to a candidate’s ability to perform on the job. Learn more about the language testing levels we use below:

ILR Rating 2

Limited Workplace Proficency

An ILR2 rated speaker can:

  • Handle routine interactions with a limited scope
  • Describe objects and narrate events
  • Handle unanticipated complications
ILR Level 2 Plus

Limited Workplace Proficiency Plus

An ILR2+ rated speaker can:

  • Show fluency in specific areas of competence
  • Describe and narrate with ample detail
  • Handle complications with ease
IL Rating 3

General Workplace Proficiency

An ILR3 rated speaker can:

  • Participate in extensive, supported discussion
  • Manage unfamiliar workplace situations
  • Avoid errors that impact understanding

Additional Resources

Parrot for Business Info Sheet

Parrot is built to help businesses hire candidates with the language skills those businesses need to grow. Read this info sheet to learn more about how easy your testing program could be.

Language Testing Validity Report

Test Quality & Validity

By combining an innovative methodology with modern tech, we’re creating a new standard evaluating language skills. Of course, none of that would matter if our results weren’t also unquestionably valid. This report shows how we’ve fine-tuned our method to meet and exceed key industry standards for validity.

Want to know more?