There are currently more than a quarter million J-1 visa exchange visitors in the US. Surprisingly, the English ability of many of these individuals is not assessed using a standardized tool, nor is their language acquisition during their visit to the US typically measured. Through a new partnership between iTEP International and Academic Language Solutions, agencies and organizations that process J-1 visas will be able to use iTEP’s English assessment tools to quantify the language skills of their applicants and demonstrate how language skills improve during a J-1 visa program.
“There’s a tremendous need within a lot of the educational exchange program organizations for a tool that can measure skills in English conversation quickly, accurately, and without great cost,” says ALS Chairman Kevin Morgan. “Several iTEP products, particularly iTEP Intern and iTEP Conversation, are perfectly suited for this task because they last only 30 minutes and are scored by ESL-trained native English speakers.”
Morgan speaks from experience because he and ALS business partner Randy LeGrant are also partners in GeoVisions, which brings young people from all over the world to the US on J-1 visas for experiences that often include seasonal or temporary work experiences and a homestay. “English conversation skills are so important for everything from working at a ski or beach resort, to communicating with a host family or conducting daily life’s everyday tasks” says Morgan. “We began using iTEP to ensure that individuals were qualified for the role they would take on in the US, and to show how their English skills improved while they were here. It didn’t take long for us to realize that other organizations like GeoVisions could use iTEP in the same way.”
Academic Language Solutions is now the exclusive distributor of iTEP for summer work and travel, internship and trainee, au pair, camp counselor, J-1 teacher, and high schools exchange.
“Kevin and Randy not only know the youth visa market incredibly well, they also have the creativity and courage to move it forward,” says iTEP International President Jemal Idris. “There is no one better suited in this market to assist in our mission to help organizations be their best selves through English assessment.”