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Australia’s new language requirements – An easy ride for Brits?

Australia's New Language Requirements Ielts Union JackDuring the run up to the recent changes which were made to the Australian Skilled Migration system, it seems that some of the ARTICLES circulating in the media were a little misleading.

We’ve already written about the International English Language Testing System IELTS and the points you get for speaking and writing English at a high level.

We’ve also written about the fact that the English Language Threshold had been raised making it harder for those who don’t hold English as a first language to gain the necessary points.

However, does this mean (as announced in some media outlets) that the the English language requirements for English speaking applicants have been ‘relaxed’, therefore making it easier for Brits to score more points towards their application?

What it is true that you can now score a maximum of 25 points under the new language criteria, compared to only 20 through the previous system, however this cannot be achieved without scoring at least 7.0 through all four components of the IELTS exam.

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In fact if anything the rules have been tightened because without taking this exam the maximum points an English speaking applicant can now score is 15, five less than before!

So if you’re reading this and you think the changes means an easy ride then don’t be too sure.

If anything it might be time to start swatting up on your English :)

Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia. Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts! 

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  1. I reckon the government (and the people of Oz) need to look at the existing standards of language in this country.

    There are people who think that the plural of 1970 is 1970’s. The majority of managers do not know what punctuation is meant for, and most high-schoolers can barely spell.

    This is an issue in the UK, Canada and of course, it goes without saying – USA.

    Most immigrants don’t take their English language seriously because WE don’t.

    When wrong language is thrown at you from every side, it’s quite easy to slip into a state of ignorance (which many Brits/Aussies are, in terms of literacy and grammar).

    When I immigrated to Oz, I scored 9 (the highest score) on the IELTS -in all the bands. My average was 9.

    However, those days there weren’t any extra points for speaking the language well (makes sense that now there are).

    Hopefully, we’ll have some proper English speakers in town sooner rather than later (oh yeah, I could use a literate manager too!)

  2. Not long ago I was listening to ABC Radio’s Newsradio. There was an interview about the English Langauge levels of some of the nurses coming to Australia to work – with some criticism of hiring nurses who have sub-par english langauge skills… Especially given the medical profession is an area where clean and accurate communication is very important.

    Is there a growing trend towards being more selective in the types of people Australia is willing to accept?

    I was half expecting the Rudd Labor Government to be more liberal in their immigration policies after being so critical of the previous government’s handling of illegal immigration, african immigration and citizenship testing.

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