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How can I verify my English Language Skill ?

I am really need to know that. If anyone know please help me.
45 REPLIES 45

I'd love to know as well. It's been asked on another post to no avail. How can someone randomly get their language skills verified, while others have no information as to how to go about it. Not really fair, is it?

Actually, I reached out to customer service two times about this, and their response was that the ONLY way to get verified is to upload Cambridge or Duolingo certification. I asked them again are they sure that that's the only way and they said yes. However,I browsed around and found around ten profiles with NO certification added which were nonetheless verified and I am sure that there are more but after tenth profile I stopped searching.(Plus all of them had very low scores on regular Odesk English tests and numerous mistakes in their overview.) So I contacted customer service again and they insisted that it was the right information on which I said' Ok, well how John Smith is verified without certification?' And then they said that they will check with their technical team blah , blah...Fast forward, I got an email from their supervisor that the info was correct and that I should report all the profiles that are verified without added certification! Imagine that! Like I don't have anything else to do! On which I told her that I am not a policeman and that my intent is not to make problems to other people but that I just want to be verified and that it is THEIR job to make sure that rules are applied to ALL.(I won't even discuss how nonsensical is this particular rule -my comment will turn into an essay if I start.)

"the ONLY way to get verified is to upload Cambridge or Duolingo certification" So would they explain publicly to people how to go about this? or at least be honest, and next to the "verified" button have an info pop-up explaining what it is. This is really par for oDesk's course at the moment - secretly introducing something that only a handful of people know about without thinking through anything about it; then when people ask questions, giving a string of clueless and cryptic answers that show that either a) they don't really want people to know the full story, or b) they do really want people to know the full story, but they don't know it themselves.

Valeria explained in another post that there are two ways for the verification:

 

"Hi Junelle, Natasha, Stephen and Natasa, Thanks for your question about the blue "verified" check-mark next to your English proficiency information. I checked and found that having this icon means that the user has either added and verified a trustworthy English language certification or they've been rated as "Fluent" by clients when they ended contracts."

 

I don't know why there is no information about this, but if clients are able to rate our language skills, then how come so many skilled freelancers don't have the verification badge? And what the h*ll is oDesk talking about?

 

"I got an email from their supervisor that the info was correct and that I should report all the profiles that are verified without added certification!"

 

@oDesk - Report people for what? YOU decided to add that verification in the first place, no one asked for it. And are you completely out of your mind? To even ask a PAYING member to do YOUR job is a complete joke! Why don't you just stop messing things up??? You can clean up your own mess yourselves!

" or they've been rated as "Fluent" by clients when they ended contracts" Exactly Natasha. Not to blow my own trumpet (well a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) but an English native, specialised in proofing and editing, 199 jobs, 4.93, 21 language-related tests in top 10%, glowing written feedback... yet my clients haven't verified the standard of my English?? Which clients are asked to verify a freelancer's language skills? and on which jobs? and at what level? and who decides the ability of the client to assess those skills? Could we have some answers here??

I agree with you Stephen.

 

" or they've been rated as "Fluent" by clients when they ended contracts" ...but an English native, specialised in proofing and editing, 199 jobs, 4.93, 21 language-related tests in top 10%, glowing written feedback..."

 

Exactly my point. It would be nice to get some straight answers for once. The link under the verification doesn't work either (why am I not surprised...) Can someone from oDesk please explain the language verification and how it works?

It seems like this is only for non-native English speakers. Note that oDesk now treats Fluent and Native as different things. Has anyone found any native English speaking freelancers whose fluency has been verified?

That's probably it Marcia. But why don't they just TELL us?? Of course the fluent/native thing is ridiculous in itself as has been discussed at length before - as if you and I are have to choose between either one or the other of these...

A few years back we've been asked to get identity verified by sending in copies of our ID's and utility bills... if Odesk wants to market a trustworthy image that will attract more quality clients to the site, they should go for an ID verified user badge (or something similar). I guess, this language badge thingy affects those who are in writing, proofreading, translation, editing... but then again, clients may not be that particular about it for the same reason that I always get invites where they state that they wanted *native* speakers. Ok, I thanked one client for the invite and told him that he must have made a mistake as I'm not from North America (w/c is one of the requirements of the job). Well, turned out that the client simply wanted to weed out applications of freelancers from these 2 countries (can't say here; might offend).

Well, I had never heard of either Cambridge or DuoLingo certification, so I looked them up, and these are certifications for people who speak English as a foreign language.

 

I think that if a native English speaker took a test for English as a foreign language, it would make clients think they were lying about being a native English speaker.

 

My guess is that this is to entice clients who want to save money by hiring clients outside of English-speaking countries and paying them lower rates but are worried that their English won't be good enough.

Yes, and for this very reason it is a complete nonsense. Because if one is a native speaker from English-speaking contry, s/he will have self-assessed mark on profile ( because of course s/he will not take certification intended for ESL learners), while someone who speaks English as a second language will have verified English. It  is totally misleading.

 

And there are ,of course , many other problems with this feature; I just don't want to monopolize this forum by writing a  novel, but I would just say that  the biggest issue is a lack of  transparency and selective, and often completely illogical application of this policy (e.g. people who barely passed basic English test on oDesk  are  verified( without Cambridge or Duolingo added!)  and people who have more than ten English -related tests in top 10%, numerous language related jobs and great feedback and actually speak English all of their life are self-assessed.)

I agree of course with all of the above... but the one thing that sticks in my craw is that they're working on telling us what it's about, if only we'll be patient. So what is it? Are they making it up now before they announce it? It's a feature that's obviously been launched somewhere, so they must knoiw what it is...so why can they not just tell us?? What is there to work on??

Yes , I 've seen Valeria's reply about two options before-that is why I repeatedly asked them is adding Cambridge or Duolingo the only way and they confirmed it is- on three different occasions-even their supervisor claimed that it is the only way. I guess they 've some communication problem. Your sentences about reporting exactly reflect my thoughts, LOL-couldn't phrase it better.

Hi all, Apologies for the confusion. We are working on providing more information around this language verification in the profile so you can see why/how that verification came about. I don't have the details now, but we'll work on adding it soon.

Thank you.

"Quote Garnor ..."Hi all, Apologies for the confusion. We are working on providing more information around this language verification in the profile so you can see why/how that verification came about. I don't have the details now, but we'll work on adding it soon.

 

So - any update on this? Have you decided what it is you've launched yet, and what information you're going to release about it, or is that still being thought out? Instead of working on adding the information soon, could you not just add it and be done with it?

Hi Stephen,

No update yet, but I'm working on gathering more info. 

well said (y)

Thank you--this is helpful. Did you end up taking a test on either of these sites? Duolingo offers literacy courses, not testing and Cambridge has tons of classes, "advanced" being their highest (there's no "native" option) but apparently you have to go TO the test center which are no where near where I live. Am I missing something? How did you manage to get verified. Thanks in advance for any assistance! Jen

Hi Jennifer,

 

You should be able to pass an English proficiency test on Duolingo website and use the result to verify you rEnglish level on  your Upwork profile. Please, read more here.

~ Valeria
Upwork
owaizoo
Member

Guys, Duolingo's app called 'Test Center' is available for free on Android and iOS. You can download it and take the test. You can take the test for free right now, before they start charging for it. All you need is a computer or a smartphone that has a front camera and a good internet connection. The test only takes 20 minutes, and the results are delivered within 72 hours. I got my results within a day. You will get a certificate, and can add it to your oDesk profile from within the Test Center app. I personally think that the test was pretty basic and easy.

Details here: https://testcenter.duolingo.com

Also, make sure that you read all the rules and try the sample questions from within the app before actually taking the test. Not following the rules will result in disqualification.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Owaiz

 

 

Owais, thanks for the info. But with respect, what test are you talking about? And how does that lead to getting language-verififed on the site? Nothing personal, but the information needs to come from someone who works for oDesk. For some reason they either don't know the answer about their own feature, or they do but for some reason don't want to tell people (or they need to take weeks to work out how to tell people in a specially sensitive or convoluted way). So to recap, there is a feature in oDesk that the majority of people don't know about but some, somehow, do; and oDesk won't release any information on the feature, for whatever reason. You wouldn't want to be paranoid around here  Man Frustrated

Stephen, 

 

Check this link out: https://testcenter.duolingo.com

 

The test I'm talking about is Duolingo's English proficiency test. I'm not sure how any of this works, and until I stumbled upon this post I had no idea that we could get language on our profile verified. On my profile, it never said verified (It said something like self-assessed). Anyway, I took the test 2 days ago and when I got the result, the 'Test Center' app had the option to add the certificate to oDesk. I did that, and now it says 'verified' under 'English' on my profile. The certificate also shows under certifications on my profile.

I hope that helps.

Thanks Owais

 

It's just a pity oDesk couldn't tell us that...

Owais, thanks for the info, and the links. you've been very helpful!

 

like Stephen, though, i do wish Odesk was more upfront with us about what they do around the site. they claim to want to "improve our chances," but why all the secrecy? Smiley Frustrated

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." - Maya Angelou
Try harder, or care less.

You're welcome. I just got lucky with the test and all, and ended up on this post while searching online for the credibility of the test because I got a 10/10 in it. 

Yes, they should be able to answer all your relevant queries, but if oDesk has hired untrained freelancers for CS, they wouldn't really have any answers. I worked at the backoffice of a company once, and everytime a query came in, the CS guys went running around, making calls to the company itself to get the answers before getting back to the customers, lol.

 

Again, I'm glad I could be of help. Here's hoping it works for you all.

 

Best of luck!

I have taken the duolingo test and got a 10/10 too. The test is not that easy (and I failed some of the questions), but I wouldn't call it an English test.

 

I didn't download the test, I did it online with my computer. I didn't see the option to send the result to oDesk. So I still don't know how to add  the "verified"  under "English" in my oDesk profile.

laurentmoreau
Member

Now, I have the "verified" thing on my profile! Smiley Happy

I don't know what happened.

Congratulations on getting your English proficiency verified, Laurent!

 

Just to confirm, any freelancer can get their English language proficiency verified by taking a test at http://testcenter.duolingo.com and sharing the certificate on their oDesk account.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Yes Valeria - but can you pleases expain what it means?? And whether there is a possibility that a client might pass over a fluent expert native speaker in favour of a non-native who has taken an external test and been verified as being able to use the language at some level? Could it be possible that a client may use the verification as a filter, thinking it will provide a list of expert speakers?

give me some chips too!

marciamalory
Member

Laurent, what do you mean when you say you wouldn't call it an English test?
laurentmoreau
Member

There are 4 types of exercises:

 

- Read a sentence out loud (your voice is recorded by the webcam).

- Write a sentence you hear (you can listen to it 3 times, you have 1 minute to write it).

- Fill in gaps (in a text) with one of the words they give.

- Given a list of words, indicate which words actually exist in English.

 

I didn't find the test very relevant.

 

Laurent,

Thanks for sending the list of the four types of exercises that comprise the test. This is very informative.

 

These exercises may not be very relevant to an English/French translator and proofreader (such as Laurent), but to me they seem like they would be extremely relevant to somebody who wants to hire an assistant or writer or customer service representative or any number of other types of contractors who will need to deal signficantly with an English-speaking public.

I think what Laurent was trying to say is that the test is not relevant because it is just too easy ( I passed it as a native speaker, so no sour grapes on my end.)

The criteria on which this test is based do not accurately measure the skill, therefore the test is not relevant.Plus, it is very intrusive and requiers an ID and video-taping. Anyway,  somebody made this decision and it won't change. I voiced my opposition and I still think it is totally misleading but ...I mean, it is up to oDesk.

 

I believe that one thing has to be emphasized and that is that being a native speaker DOES NOT automatically qualify any individual to be a writer or an editor. (Just to add, I am not a writer nor editor on oDesk.)  Writing or editing is a God-given gift or a skill or a craft-however you want to define it. Millions of people speak English as their first language and just a tiny fraction of it, the lucky few, have a mastery over it. And not just English-any language-I mean being a native Russian speaker , for example, certainly doesn't make me Dostoevsky or Chekhov.

marciamalory
Member

Does not seem relevant for a writer. It seems to test for very basic English skills. For the many freelancers on oDesk who communicate entirely in writing, the ability to pronounce English words is irrelevant. (As a native speaker, I wonder how I would fare with my regional, nonstandard accent and my tendency to pop back and forth between British and American pronunciations.)

It is definitely true that being a native speaker does not qualify you to be a writer.

I'm thinking my weirdo client passed the duolingo test and thus fancies himself as a native English speaker plus an automatically certified writer haha!

 

I haven't taken the test yet and I have no intention of doing so. If a client asks me how come I don't have the verified thingy, I will simply share this thread so they can see exactly what the verified status means.

 

 



โ„โ„โ„ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines โ„โ„โ„
laurentmoreau
Member

No, it's not completely basic, especially the sentences with the gaps. Sometimes, it was difficult to figure out the sentence when there were 3 successive gaps, and many words to choose from. And the part where we have to recognise the English words doesn't include many basic words!! The only easy part is the pronunciation, and writing the sentences (but I don't have any problems with spelling).

 

In fact, I think the truth is just that I hated this test.

 

I completed many oDesk skill tests (many many!!) and I enjoyed taking them!

 

But this test was different, perhaps because of the video recording, I don't know.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank you guys for the discussion and sharing your opinions!

 

If you wish to showcase your skills as a writer, editor or translator you are definitely welcome to take other oDesk tests as well as add portfolio items. And I know that many of you have done so already.

 

Currently there is no functionality for clients to search or filter freelancers by the English proficiency verification. However, if clients want to make sure that they won't have problems communicating and understanding the freelancer they want to hire, the English proficiency verification can be useful. 

~ Valeria
Upwork