28 replies to this topic
Posted 2011-05-17 21:44:51
My Thai friend is applying for a settlement visa with his girlfriend as sponsor. He's got good listening and speaking skills but can't read or write in English.
I've heard that for a UK settlement visa only speaking and listening skills need be tested for the A1 language requirements.
If that is the case then is there anywhere in Bangkok for someone with no reading and writing skills to take the test? Most places I've seen require some reading skills to read the listening test questions etc.
Posted 2011-05-17 22:29:40
I believe visa2go are still offering the EMD test until the end of this month. EMD have been removed from the approved list of test providers but tests are being accepted during the interim period if the application is to be made before 17th July, I think anyway?
I had the EMD test booked for my wife a few months back but it was cancelled when the list was reviewed. We are also applying after the interim cut-off period so we had to look at alternatives. My wife has since taken the BULATS test through Vantage Siam but it is a computer based test + speaking test so some aspects of writing, reading, listening and speaking were required. Unfortunatley looking at the new list of providers I can't see any that offer only a speaking & listening test anymore
Posted 2011-05-17 22:58:06
Visas Plus run one from Bangkok and Pattaya. I'm afraid I only have their Pattaya details my wife took it start of March and gaines A2 qualification even though only A1 is needed. That was just speaking and listening.
Posted 2011-05-19 02:22:59
I ask a question similar to your if a child of a person who married a Thai lady and got a settlement visa for the UK and later, decided that she wanted to bring her child to England who is say 14 , and they had dyslexia, would it be hard to get a visa for her child. I know she would have a right .so there must be away.
Edited by Thongkorn, 2011-05-19 02:23:37.
Posted 2011-05-19 11:16:43
You will not need to meet the English language requirement if you provide satisfactory evidence that:
Posted 2011-05-19 11:45:19
Thongkorn, it is those applying for a visa as a spouse, fiancÚ or partner who have to meet this requirement, not children.
Posted 2011-05-21 15:05:27
And rest assured that the CEF A1 level is this lowest possible level and is a walk in the park for anyone with even the most basic grasp of the language.
Posted 2011-05-21 15:38:55
That implies that every Thai partner of a UK sponsor is likely to pass. Unfortunately, some do not, partly because whatever their competence in English (often barely a "basic grasp"), their background and education may not have equipped them to take a test. Also, some are not aided by their UK sponsors' habitual use of "Tinglish" to communicate with them. I would urge anyone faced with this hurdle to find out just what the test involves before they take it.
Posted 2011-05-21 15:51:33
Just out of interest, you actually know what the competencies of an A1 level of English are ?
Posted 2011-05-21 16:14:09
I have conducted several hundred English language tests in the last 7 months. My previous statement was based 100% in fact. It is doing sponsors and their partners a disservice to give them the impression that the so-called 'A1' test is a mere formality. For people who are not used to taking exams, it isn't. Whatever the range of their vocabulary, some thought is required to apply it, and a little homework will reap benefits.
Posted 2011-05-21 17:20:21
Well, I have worked for Cambridge on and off for 18 years. I also have strong links with all the major examination boards such as C&G, Edexcel/Pearson, EDI etc and I was also instrumental in assisting the UKBA in putting together the initial list of providers some time ago.
And I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that an A1 level is largely achievable for even the most basic user.
Perhaps your own success rates add testament to this.
Posted 2011-05-21 17:27:01
What does this mean?
Its not simply a test of high frequency lexicon, rather the carrier language is the main tested component.
Posted 2011-05-21 19:50:42
Anyone who goes into any test, no matter how easy a 'walk in the park' it may be, without any preparation is a fool.
That's just my opinion.
Posted 2011-05-21 22:36:08
I am a can speak Thai, I passed the P6 exam years ago. If I was going to do a test in Thai and expect to reach the equivalent A1 standard I wouldn't even think of picking up a book.
I have a DBA, if I was to sit a BA exam I wouldnt even consider revising.
Posted 2011-05-21 22:37:28
And I assume your wife's ENglish is very good after living in the UK for an extended period of time - why on earth would she need to revise in order to demonstrate an A1 standard?
Posted 2011-05-21 23:36:57
Her English seems to be better than yours!
But we are not talking about a person who has lived, as my wife has, in the UK for over 10 years and speaks English every day to native speakers; we are talking about people whose grasp of Englsih is very basic and rarely, if ever, speak to native speakers and when they do it is to their partner who often, as Eff1n2ret points out, don't use English but Tinglish when talking to them!
You claim to be an academic, so must know the expression "Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail!"
Posted 2011-05-21 23:44:38
I am sorry but why do you assume that the spouses or Gfs of Brits have a basic grasp of English? Everyone has to go through the language requirements - why the assumption that the above are uneducated?
Again, pure assumption. What's more, how would they have met said spouse / BF if they do not speak to farangs? Or couldn't speak English? Unless of course the partner speak Thai - which, I am sure you will agree, if not the norm, at least to any standard that one would expect as part of normal marital communications
No I dont!
Posted 2011-05-22 00:21:53
I thought it was obvious to anyone that we were not talking about fluent English speakers, but those whose grasp is far from perfect. The words you quote make that plain!
Where did I say that I "assume that the spouses or Gfs of Brits have a basic grasp of English" ?
I know many Thais, both in the UK and in Thailand. Many are fluent in English, most vary from 'get by' to nearly fluent and some are very basic.
It is the 'get bys' and basic group who need to prepare, as I would have thought was obvious to everyone.
You don't claim to be an academic? Sorry, I thought you saying
meant that you were.
If you are not an academic then:-
What did you do when you worked for Cambridge; sweep the floor?
What are your links with all the major examination boards; cleaning their windows?
In what way were you instrumental in assisting the UKBA put together the initial list of providers; operating the photocopier?
All of which are, of course, perfectly respectable occupations; but they hardly justify the implication in the remark quoted!
Posted 2011-05-22 03:38:30
I think you will find that people who, as you describe, can 'get by' are considerably above A1, rather progessively more competent than A2 and likely at a B1. And, if you can communicate with the basic group and asssuming its not total silence in their marital home, then they to would sail at A1. Its my job to know this.
Posted 2011-05-22 03:40:33
I was indeed. However, not everyone at Cambridge,an organisation with 1000s of employess, doesn't just employ academics.
Posted 2011-05-22 03:42:04
Actually, no. I was the Asian ELT sales Director.
Posted 2011-05-22 03:43:06
Or indeed your childish response.
Posted 2011-05-22 05:51:51
That explains a lot; but not the apparent difficulty you have with written English Are you perchance dyslexic? If so, you have my sympathy and understanding.
Final question. If no preparation is necessary, why do test providers offer preparatory courses; is this just a cynical ploy employed by salesmen to obtain even more money from their customers? I wonder if, unlike most of my other questions to you, you'll answer this one.
It is, of course, entirely up to the people taking the test whether or not they undertake some preparation or not; but I know what I would do in that position, and stand by my earlier remark that taking a test without preparation is foolish.