Ecole de Guerre
Using TOEIC Test Scores for Training Effectiveness Measurement
In 2010, Mrs. Emilie Cleret was recruited as Head of the English Language Office of École de Guerre and quickly established English training programmes and hired training officers. However, her office had no way of knowing whether its training was effective or if the English proficiency of its students was improving. After issuing a call for tenders to select a certification provider, the school chose the TOEIC® tests and has been using them since 2012. Using TOEIC test scores allows the school to compare test takers from year to year, which helps them to evaluate the effectiveness of the English training they provide. The school’s goal is to have all trainee officers score at least 900 on the TOEIC test, which is equal to level C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
Institution Snapshot: École de Guerre
Founded in 1993, the École de Guerre is a French institution for military higher education. It is located on the grounds of the École Militaire, a complex housing various military training facilities founded by Louis XV in 1750. The institution was formed after the merger of the training schools of the French Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Gendarmerie.
- Founded: 1993
- Director: Vice Admiral Marc Briancon
- Location: Paris, France
- Number of Trainees: 300+
The École de Guerre, based in Paris, France, is an institution for military higher education. It is located on the grounds of the École Militaire, a complex housing various military training facilities founded in 1750. In 2010, Mrs. Emilie Cleret was recruited as Head of the English Language Office of École de Guerre and was tasked with creating an English department. As one of her first priorities, she established programmes for English training and recruited training officers. Immediately, the question of skills assessment arose: how can we measure the quality of our training, and how can we see a clear picture of the training’s effectiveness?
In order to gauge the effectiveness of the training provided, École de Guerre issued a call for tenders to select a certification provider that met the following criteria:
- must be an external, third-party assessment to ensure objectiveness in the evaluation process
- must be internationally recognised and used in civilian training (universities, schools, etc.) to allow comparison and interaction between the military and civilian spheres
- must encompass the four linguistic skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing) in international communications (beyond a purely military context)
- must align to NATO’s Standardisation Agreement 6001 (STANAG 6001) École de Guerre selected the TOEIC® Listening and Reading and TOEIC® Speaking and Writing tests as their language assessment tools.
Since École de Guerre began using the TOEIC tests in 2012, French officer trainees have been taking the tests every year. “TOEIC test scores allow us not only to compare test takers to each other, but also to compare test takers from year to year. This allows us to set precise objectives for the upcoming year,” explains Mrs. Cleret. This also helps the school in determining the effectiveness of the English training they provide.
In 2012, 90 percent of test takers obtained a score higher than or equal to 785. This score corresponds to the minimum score required by French schools for issuing civilian diplomas (e.g., engineering diploma), and half of those test takers obtained a score higher than or equal to 900 out of 990 (i.e., level C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference).
“We are hoping that all test takers achieve level C1. The TOEIC tests meet the expectations and requirements of the military school as part of its training and certification of the English-language skills of its future decision makers who will have to defend the interests of France and NATO,” concludes Mrs. Cleret.