Certificate in Languages for Business

Frequently Asked Questions about the CLB (Certificate in Languages for Business)

Which awarding body accredits the CLB?

CIOL Qualifications accredits this qualification. They are the only awarding body specializing in professional language qualifications and have an excellent reputation within industry. The Language Alliance has worked in partnership to design and develop the qualification, provide course materials and manage the assessment of the qualification.

How many guided/teaching hours overall would you recommend?

The Certificate 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 qualification has been launched in a range of educational institutions this year with learners in KS4, KS5 and students in university. It has proved to be successful with a range of learners from 15-25 years of age. Students may be studying for the qualification in addition to a GCSE or A level in the language, they may be taking it as an enrichment course in year 12/13 to continue their language learning, they may be taking it at university to boost their CV and job opportunities or they may be boosting their language skills in preparation for study abroad as an Erasmus 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 end of module assessment tasks which count for 35% and an exam which counts for 65%. Candidates are graded pass, merit or distinction.
The teacher schedules the timings of the assessment tasks. However the exam is set for a specific date. There are currently three exams series per year: May, June and December to allow flexibility for students at different stages in their education.

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 exam candidates do not have access to support materials apart from the exam 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 qualification.

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 qualification compare with the current GCSE

The CLB 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 qualification similar to the NVQ?

The CLB is practical in nature like the NVQ and focuses on skills development for the workplace. However the CLB 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 CLB has been approved by Ofqual. However it does not currently attract points but this may change in the future as numbers taking this qualification increase and support continues to be given from industry.

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

You do not need to have the assessor qualification 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 qualification structured?

The qualification is based on two units: Speaking and Listening and Reading and Writing. The qualification 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?

CIOL Qualifications ‘s fee 2018-19 is £94 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.

Can students be entered for just one skill (like the NVQ?)

Candidates can be entered for just one of the units (Speaking and Listening or Reading and Writing) but they will not gain the full award. They would however need to study the full course to ensure all possible exam content has been covered.

Why should I consider this qualification?

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 CLB 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, eg engineering, hospitality?

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

Will the CLB 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?

Currently the demand is at level 2. We may consider level 1 and 3 depending on interest levels.

What are the progression routes?

An increasing number of universities offer a University Wide Language Programme to undergraduates. The CLB will support students in moving to a level 3 or equivalent at university.

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?

No, not yet, currently they can be entered for just one language.

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