English language proficiency test for teachers (online)

English language proficiency test for teachers

Do you teach classes in English in a higher education setting? In that case, you probably have to take a language proficiency test. We organise these English tests for teaching staff.

  • Tailor-made for teachers
  • Online assessment
  • Done in 20 minutes


English language proficiency test for teachers (online)

Many university degree programmes are now taught in English. The lecturers who teach on these programmes are therefore subject to language requirements: their command of English is expected to be at C1 level, as defined by the Common European Framework (CEF). The English language proficiency test for teachers is specially designed for academic professionals who teach in English within a higher education setting. The test is compulsory for teaching staff on a number of degree programmes. If this applies in your case, you will be notified by your programme.

Two versions of the English language proficiency test

There are two different versions of the English language proficiency tests. These can be taken independently of one another.

1. Oral assessment
In this version of the test, lecturers have a twenty-minute interview with two Taalcentrum-VU examiners. Prior to the exam, the lecturer prepares a short presentation which will be used as the basis for the interview. The lecturer receives an assessment based on ‘can-do statements’ with a score between B1 and C2. The cost of the oral assessment is €155 per participant.

The oral assessment is currently administered online. Candidates receive an individual session link that takes them directly to the examiners.

2. Attending English-taught tutorial
In this exam version, a Taalcentrum-VU examiner attends one of the lecturer’s English-taught tutorials (not a lecture, 1 x 30 minutes). Additional preparations are not required. The lecturer receives an assessment based on ‘can-do statements’ with a score between B1 and C2. The cost of the assessment of the English-taught tutorial is €170 per participant.

Which skills are assessed?

In both versions, lecturers’ speaking and listening skills are assessed. The examiner also reviews interaction with the audience (in the first version this is the interaction with the examiners, in the second version it’s the students). The examiners focus only on lecturers’ English language skills. Their didactic qualities are never part of the assessment.

Practical information

Target group for this assessment

The English language proficiency test for teachers has been designed for teaching staff in higher education. This includes both university lecturers and teaching staff at universities of applied sciences. If you do not teach in higher education but would like to take an English language test, take a look at our English language tests for the business sector.

How long does the test take?

  • Oral assessment: 20 minutes
  • Tutorial visit: 30 minutes

Costs and cancellation

  • Oral assessment: €155
  • Tutorial visit: €170

In most cases the invoice is sent to the faculty, so please provide us with a purchase order number. If you prefer to pay your fee in a different way, please let us know.


Cancelling your exam is free of charge up to one week before the test. For late cancellations you will be charged the full amount.


The oral assessment will be recorded in case the result is inconclusive and the examiners wish to involve a third assessor. If you do not want your oral assessment to be recorded, please make this clear in the ‘remarks’ field when you register.

English at C1 level: what does that mean?

As a lecturer working on an English-taught programme at VU Amsterdam or another higher education institution, you must have a C1 command of English. In other words, you must be a ‘proficient user’ of the English language. You should be able to express yourself fluently and spontaneously without having to search for the right expression. This applies both to spoken and written communication. C1 is one of the proficiency levels defined by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). This system categorizes language learners according to six levels of proficiency. These range from A1 (the lowest level) to C2 (the highest level). Each level includes ‘can do’ statements that describe what the language user is able to do. Would you like to find out more about CEF levels? Take a look at the table to obtain an idea of your language proficiency level. This overview includes the ‘can do’ statements associated with C1 level.

Dates and registration

  • Oral assessment: Please fill out the form at the bottom.
  • Tutorial visit: Please send an email to naar taalloket@taalcentrum-vu.nl and we will schedule our visit in consultation with you.


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