The consequences of English language testing for international health professionals and students: An Australian case study
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- International Journal of Nursing Studies, 2016, 54 pp. 95 - 103
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Aim: To discuss the perceptions about the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and its impact on migration and practice of migrant health professionals in Australia. Methods: Thematic analysis of interviews with 14 health industry participants and 35 migrated health professionals in Australia. Results and discussion: Language testing is a barrier to health professional registration for migrant health workers in Australia. While two English language tests are recognised by the registration authorities in Australia, it is the International English Language Testing System that is most commonly used. This paper reports that study participants had underlying negative perceptions of the International English Language Testing System which they report, affect their move to Australia.These negative perceptions are caused by: frustration due to changes to processes for migration and registration; challenges regarding the structure of IELTS including timing of when test results expire, scoring requirements, cost, and suitability; and the resulting feelings of inadequacy caused by the test itself. Conclusion: This study has shown that some respondents have experienced difficulties in relation to the International English Language Testing System as part of their migration process. It was found that there is very little research into the effectiveness of the IELTS as it is currently administered for overseas health care professionals. Several recommendations are provided including areas for further research.
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