Began using the English3 Interview:

May 2017


Annual J-1 Exchange Visitors:

1,030


Annual Research Expenditure: 

$866 Million


Website:

isfs.tamu.edu


Methods of Verifying English Proficiency: 

For details, click here.

Background—The Need for Change

In January 2015, the Department of State updated English proficiency requirements for J-1 program administration:

"The exchange visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, successfully to participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis."

Like most universities, the International Scholars and Faculty Services office (ISFS) initially had the sponsoring department or PI complete the English interview. The results of these interviews were inconsistent. ISFS needed a new policy to ensure an objective measurement of English

To fully comply with the new regulations, ISFS took the initiative to conduct the English proficiency interviews themselves. They were able to see for themselves whether each applicant could communicate effectively in English. However, the time it took to complete the interviews was simply overwhelming. Staff often completed these interviews early in the morning or late at night to accommodate time zone differences for scholars.

An Innovative Solution

After a year and a half, and completing hundreds of Skype interviews, it became evident that ISFS needed to find a more efficient way to conduct and administer interviews. ISFS reached out to English3 to see if their automated online interview technology could be adapted to build a solution targeted to J-1 English proficiency interviews.

Together, English3, ISFS at Texas A&M University, and Kansas University Medical Center developed the English3 Interview. The Interview would not exist without the innovative perspective of Virginie Blum and the ISFS team.

Implementing this new approach to J-1 interviews was surprisingly easy. The staff and the scholars were all thrilled with the ease and convenience of the interview.

Virginie Blum, Senior Immigration Specialist

“The English3 interview has helped us tremendously. It is so much easier now. When a potential J-1 scholar needs an English proficiency interview, they are able to complete it at their convenience. After the potential scholar completes the interview, I receive an email from English3 with the interview score report. I love that I can review the interview video; I am able to learn about the scholar before they arrive.

“English3 has saved me a ton of time. The implementation of the online interview process was very smooth. Their tech support is very quick to respond when we or the applicant have issues. Great customer service!

“I don’t have to worry about scheduling, time zones, or any of that. The scholar does the interview when and where it is convenient for them and I review it when it is convenient for me.”

*Update: English3 recently integrated with Sunapsis, and as a Sunapsis customer ISFS at Texas A&M is now able to have English scores upload automatically into the scholar profile.

What TAMU Scholars Say:

“It is the most convenient way to verify my English proficiency. Good technical support :)”

Chanchan Zhou, China

“Fewer technical problems than Skype, cheaper than TOEFL, I can do it at any time I choose.”

Marcello Martins, Brazil

“I am much less nervous with this interview, so my English is better.”

Quingfu Zhang, Taiwan

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