Case study

ISPRA, audiovisual school

The importance of English proficiency and TOEIC® Certification for the training of future audiovisual professionals.

Since 2005, the ISPRA school, located in Toulouse, has been training students who will captivate us on both small and large screens. Recognizing the international dimension as a transversal development axis for all audiovisual professions, ISPRA has made English proficiency a significant component of its programs. Explore how TOEIC certification enables these young individuals to graduate with a Bachelor's degree accredited by the European E.A.B.H.E.S. organization, as well as to embark on a highly competitive job market equipped with all the necessary skills. 

An Internationally Oriented School

ISPRA stands out as a school with an international outlook, providing students with a rich and diverse educational experience where art and new technologies play a predominant role. The school offers a robust academic program leading to two European Bachelors: 

- Audio engineering & sound production 

- Fine Arts with two possible majors: Cinema & TV or animation & VFX 

 Since 2022, the school has expanded its offerings with the opportunity to pursue a fourth year of study at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles. Additionally, ISPRA hosts Masterclasses featuring globally renowned producers and directors such as Ken Scott (Beatles, David Bowie, and Supertramp), Ryan Hewitt (two Grammy Awards), and Michael Wagener (Metallica and Extreme). 

English Proficiency as a Graduation Criterion

Within the Bachelor's program, the importance of English proficiency is undeniable. Every year, all students are required to attend English courses for 2 to 3 hours per week.

The European Bachelors programs offered by ISPRA are accredited by the E.A.B.H.E.S (European Accreditation Board for Higher Education Schools). By certifying the pedagogical content and the value of ECTS credits awarded, E.A.B.H.E.S. assists Higher Education institutions in implementing the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), derived from the Bologna Process (a process of convergence of European higher education systems). 

As part of its commitment to E.A.B.H.E.S., obtaining the complete diploma requires validation of the TOEIC® Listening and Reading test with a score of 650 points, equivalent to a B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. "Around 80 young individuals successfully pass the TOEIC test each year," says Pierre Alabernia, Deputy Director of ISPRA.  

Every year, nearly 80 young students successfully achieve the required score on the TOEIC test, a fundamental step towards obtaining their diploma.

Pierre Alabernia, Deputy Director of ISPRA.

TOEIC Certification for Working in English within International Teams

Whether during internships during their course of study or in their first contracts after graduation, ISPRA-trained individuals regularly have the opportunity to work within international teams.

"All audiovisual professions are involved, from sound engineers to editors, directors, and 3D animators," explains Pierre Alabernia. 

Many international production companies come to shoot in France and require professional proficiency in English, such as the American company Paramount, which filmed a reality show in Occitania.  

French talent is also a valued export abroad, as France is known for the quality of its 3D animators. There are over a hundred animation studios, some of which have achieved great success internationally, such as Xilam, Mediatoon, or the Toulouse-based studio TAT, creator of the series "Les As de la jungle." 

The advent of Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality are significant drivers of growth. The animation sector will increasingly require specialized collaborators capable of working in English within teams from diverse backgrounds. 

Supporting Youth Towards Success

As the school accepts students between high school and post-secondary education (BAC to BAC+2), ISPRA welcomes students with a very diverse level of English proficiency. Some students are bilingual, while others may have struggled with English some time ago. In addition to English language study courses, teachers prepare students for the specificities of the TOEIC Listening and Reading test so that they are familiar with the format and content, reducing stress among students.


We sincerely thank Pierre Alabernia for his contribution to this interview. We greatly appreciate his sharing of experience.