Accreditation in Languages for Business

Frequently Asked Questions about the ALB (Accreditation in Languages for Business)

What is the Accreditation in Languages for Business (ALB)?

The ABC is a professional accreditation which is approved and co-awarded by The Language Alliance and The Skills & Educational Group

How many guided/teaching hours overall would you recommend?

The Accreditation in Languages for Business carries 120 Guided Learning Hours

Per week how many hours would you recommend to deliver the course?

It depends on the level of your learners but we recommend an absolute minimum of one hour, preferably 90 minutes and time spent on independent learning activities.

What time commitment outside of the lesson will students need to make?

This depends on the age group, previous knowledge and teaching time available. Independent student activities are available on line as well as downloadable worksheets.

What type of learner is it aimed at?

The accreditation (formerly Certificate in Languages for Business) is delivered in a range of educational institutions, with learners in KS4, KS5, undergraduates and professionals in the work place. Its flexibility makes it suitable for a range of learning environments; from students studying for the accreditation in addition to a GCSE or A level in the language, those taking it as an enrichment course in year 12/13,  undergraduates taking it at university to boost their CV and job opportunities or those who wish to boost their language skills in preparation for study abroad as an Erasmus/Turing student.

What previous knowledge do they need?

Ideally learners should have some knowledge of the language and at least a basic handle of tenses and grammar in the language.Preferably learners should have at least a basic knowledge of the language. Beginners may need further input in order to get the basics in place in the early stages.

How is it assessed?

A combination of 6 end of module assessment tasks which count for 40% and and two final closed book assessments which count for 60%. Candidates are graded pass, merit or distinction.
The teacher schedules the timings of the assessment tasks. However the final assessment is set for a specific date. There is one final assessment series per year in early summer. Dates are confirmed annually.

Learners are allowed to use their notes during the assessments tasks but only have one attempt. Learners should not see the actual task brief until the point where they are due to prepare and take the task.

In the final assessments candidates do not have access to support materials apart from the assessment resources themselves. The speaking and listening is 20 minutes. The reading and writing is 50 minutes.

What if a learner fails an assessment task?

Learners can fail an assessment task and still pass the accreditation.

Who marks the assessment tasks and exam?

The teacher marks the assessment tasks and gives feedback to the learner. This is designed to motivate learners and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
The Language Alliance samples the assessment task marks but marks the exam.

How does the accreditation compare with the current GCSE

The ALB is much more practical and business focused in nature compared to the GCSE. The assessment tasks are more frequent and cover all 4 language skills. The tasks are shorter in nature than the GCSE controlled assessments and do not rely on candidates memorizing large chunks of information.

Is the accreditation similar to the NVQ?

The ALB is practical in nature like the NVQ and focuses on skills development for the workplace. However the ALB is more rigorous than the NVQ. It is designed to ensure candidates build up competency in grammar and show they can use the target language in unplanned, spontaneous situations as well as scenarios where reference materials can be used.

Does it carry points?

The ALB does not currently attract points but this may change in the future as numbers taking this accreditation increase and support continues to be given from industry.

Do I need to be a trained assessor to deliver this accreditation?

You do not need to have the assessor accreditation but you will need to participate in a webinar in the autumn in order to understand the assessment task delivery and marking criteria.

How is the accreditation structured?

The accreditation is based on two units: Speaking and Listening and Reading and Writing. It comprises an assessment task focusing on each individual skill but also a combined task for speaking and listening and one for reading and writing.

What resources are available to support my teaching?

The Language Alliance has designed a full scheme of work with all resources required with the end of module tasks fully integrated. The resources are designed to allow a blended learning approach with face to face teaching and opportunities for independent learning to allow consolidation. The resources are available online and are based on an annual licence fee. The initial charge is £175 and thereafter £99. The ongoing cost covers continued access to the resources which will be updated annually including changes to the assessment tasks.

How much are the entry fees?

Accreditation‘s fee 2020-21 is  expected to be £79 per candidate, for the latest information please check our portal http://www.vlconline.co.uk . The Language Alliance is responsible for liaising with schools regarding candidate entry, portfolio submission, assessment and certificate claims.

Why should I consider this accreditation?

There are frequent reports about the need for language skills in the workplace in order to boost the UK economy and also to enhance the career prospects of our future workforce. Students opting for ‘A’ level have also been in considerable decline and as we move to a linear approach the numbers will fall even further.
Based on evidence from teachers delivering the ALB this year, it can significantly help mfl departments in engaging learners, increasing uptake and raising the profile of the subject.

Will there be specialized units for students interested in a particular field, e.g. engineering, hospitality?

The ALB is a generic business accreditation but refers to different types of industries during the course materials. We will be considering specialized units in the future.

Will the ALB be available in other languages?

Yes, we are considering Italian, English and also minority languages. Please let us know of your particular requirement so that we can gauge interest levels.
 

Will there be other levels available?

We are in the process of developing an optional advanced level qualification which will be an optional project that will attract UCAS points (available summer 2022).

What are the progression routes?

An increasing number of universities offer applied language routes in additional to run alongside degree level study. The ALB offers an ideal bridge to Higher Education.

Can I link up with other schools/institutions/colleagues who are delivering the course?

Teachers/lecturers may be able to link up with other educational institutions however the licence for the resources can only be used in one institution. Multi licence discounts are available should a teacher be delivering the course across a number of sites.

Can students be entered for more than one language for the accreditation?

Yes, students can be entered for any or all of the languages available.

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