Being able to speak more than one language can have far-reaching benefits, from developing a better understanding of another culture to winning a business deal.

In some parts of the world, learning a second language is an important part of the curriculum. In fact, in Europe, 92 per cent of schoolchildren study a foreign language, with English being the most studied language across all age ranges.

In recent years, there has been a steady rise of adults learning a secondary language. There are many reasons to why this could be: from political changes to the growing popularity of language apps making it easier to learn on the go.

The needs of the adult learner

The needs of the adult learner are different to that of their school-aged counter parts. For one thing, those who study a language at a later age are more actively interested in the subject. They are doing it because they want to, not because it is on their school’s timetable.

Furthermore, those who learn languages at a later age normally have a reason to do it: they need it for a job, are moving to another country, or are in a relationship with someone who speaks a foreign language. This all accumulates to them expecting more out of the teaching and resulting qualification compared to their younger counterparts.

Embracing technology

Technology can, and is already, helping to meet these differing needs.

By offering e-learning, awarding organisations give students the option to learn when and where they please. This gives mature students the flexibility to learn around their busy schedule. With advanced algorithms and gamification in e-learning, awarding organisations can also offer personalised learning experiences to their students – more so when compared to classroom-based learning.

Computer-based testing offers several benefits to the learners, instructors and programs, such as immediate feedback for simple assessments and improved data analytics.

For more complex assessment types, onscreen marking tools, such as RM Assessor³, allow you to mark different types of media including video and audio (e.g. for oral language examinations), without the need for assessment responses to be physically sent to examiners. This helps to reduce the time needed for marking as it eradicates almost all transit delays associated with traditional marking, and is particularly helpful where language tests are being taken and marked around the world.

Already, many language test providers are embracing e-assessment technology and experiencing the associated benefits. In recent months, Oxford University Press announced the launch of a new English language program that uses an online system to deliver multiple assessment types. Over time, we predict further language test providers to follow suit.

To find out more about RM Results e-assessment solutions download our brochure.