An objective measure of English proficiency must be SECURE.
The English3 Interview sets itself apart as a secure online English test through proprietary
techniques and patent-pending technology.
Dr. Michael Griffiths
Ph.D., Instructional Psychology and Technology
English3, Chief Technology Officer
Seth Ogoe Ayim
Ph.D. Candidate, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
English3, Managing Partner
Test security focuses on preventing test-takers from gaining an unfair advantage
and provides confidence that the score report is an accurate representation of the
English ability of the test-taker.
After readily identifying threats to test security with common online English tests,
the test development experts at English3 became convinced that an innovative approach was needed.
Keys to Maintaining the Security of the Interview
Interactive video tools simulate the academic and every-day scenarios in which the test-taker
will be placed. English3’s proprietary technology assesses real-time ability to produce language
under the pressure of real-life situations, such as answering questions as part of a face-to-face discussion.1
This test format is ideal for assessing a test-taker’s ability to “participate in his or her program and to
function on a day-to-day basis”.2
The requirement that test-takers respond in real time eliminates many security concerns,
including the ability of the test-taker to apply strategies
for gaming multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank and parts of speech questions. Real-time response requires
authentic language production.3
FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE WITH PROCTOR REVIEW
Robust facial recognition software protects the integrity of the English3 Interview by comparing
the test-taker’s photo ID and pre-test setup photos to the test-taker’s videos. In addition, photos and videos are compared
across our complete test-taker database.4 This review prevents an individual from taking the English3 Interview multiple times
under different identities. English3 is continually improving biometric technology used to ensure test-taker identity.
Facial recognition results must be approved through a manual review by the
proctor before Score Reports are created.
1:1 PROCTOR TO TEST-TAKER RATIO
The English3 Interview is proctored and rated remotely by experienced language professionals who
complete a rigorous certification process. The interview video is reviewed by raters5 who are trained to spot security
concerns, such as looking off camera, reading from notes, or receiving assistance from others. Video recordings allow
raters to see student expressions and give transparency to the applicant’s English ability. Attempts at cheating are
readily visible and documented. Interview video recordings are also available for review by university staff with access
to the administrator dashboard.
RANDOMIZED INTERVIEW FORMS
No two interviews are the same. Questions come from large question banks with variable
question types. The English3 Interview begins with introductory and beginner questions before progressing through intermediate
and advanced questions. Question topics include day-to-day interactions, cultural exchange, safety, professional goals,
and other relevant topics.
Security questions are unique item types with thousands of variations. These questions are
not graded directly but are used as a benchmark to approximate the language ability of the test-taker compared to the
graded interview questions. Security questions include picture descriptions,6 scrolling text, and elicited imitation.7
Elicited imitation “consists of having learners listen to and repeat, to the best of their ability, [sentences] of
varying lengths and complexities.”8
Why test security matters
A secure English3 Interview gives international offices and sponsoring departments confidence that exchange visitors
have the English proficiency required to participate in their program and to function on a day-to-day basis.
A secure English3 Interview ensures that the work of the international office and sponsoring departments continues
uninterrupted by issues arising when exchange visitors arrive without the ability to function in an English environment.
A secure English3 Interview is an objective measure of English proficiency—helping universities ensure compliance
through an approach applauded by the Department of State.
Griffiths, M. E., & Graham, C. R. (2009b). The potential of asynchronous video in online education. Distance Learning,
“§ Sec. 62.10 Program Administration. | USCIS.” 62.10 Exchange Visitor Program Cases. | USCIS, 1 Jan. 2015,
Griffiths, M. E., & Graham, C. R. (2009a). Using asynchronous video in online classes: Results from a pilot study.
International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 6(3), 65–76. http://itdl.org/Journal/Mar_09/article06.htm.
Applying Computer Vision to Images with Amazon Rekognition, Aws Lambda, and Box Skills: Amazon Web Services.
Joe Norman - https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/apn/applying-computer-vision-to-images-with-amazon-rekognition-aws-lambda-and-box-skills/.
Plymouth University (2017). E-INVIGILATION OF E-ASSESSMENTS. Available at:
Lavalle, Pamela I. and Briesmaster, Mark. (2017). The study of the Use of Picture Descriptions in Enhancing
Communication Skills among the 8th-Grade Students—Learners of English as a Foreign Language. i.e.: inquiry in education:
Vol. 9: Iss. 1, Article 4. Retrieved from: https://digitalcommons.nl.edu/ie/vol9/iss1/4.
C. R. Graham. 2006. An analysis of elicited imitation as a technique for measuring oral language proficiency.
In Teaching, pages 57–67, Taipei, Taiwan. English Teachers’ Association.Yi ju Chen and Yiu nam Leung, editors, Selected Papers from the
Fifteenth International Symposium on English
Kennington, C. & Graham, C. R. Elicited Imitation as an Oral Proficiency Measure with ASR Scoring, 1.2, 1604.