English language learners in Paraguay took the MET at Centro Cultural Paraguayo Americano (CCPA) for the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) in December 2018. Created in 2004 by the United States government, the Access program has improved the English of approximately 150,000 students in more than 80 countries. Program participants are typically promising, economically disadvantaged students ages 13–20. The participants work to strengthen their English skills in order to enhance their professional and educational prospects.
To deliver program results, Access relies on in-country institutions. They chose CCPA’s test center in Asunción to host the scholarship students for Paraguay in 2018. CCPA is a binational center that has been offering English instruction since 1942. As part of the Access program, they offered English language instruction to the students who received funding.
CCPA incorporated the two-skills MET into the course of study to meet the Access program requirements. At the beginning of the program, scholarship students took the MET, so CCPA could accurately assess their level of English ability. The students then engaged in a year of language study that ended with a second MET administration. By beginning and ending the program with this Michigan Test, CCPA was able to demonstrate how the Access students’ English language abilities had progressed during the program, which was a requirement for the scholarship.
“The Access Program needs to know where their students are related to their English language skills. The MET was perfect for this.”
Not only was CCPA able to measure students’ progress by using the MET, the secure results that they received were CEFR-linked, so students could prove their language achievements in international settings. This would prove beneficial as the students sought employment or educational opportunities in their own country or beyond. At the end of their year of study, Access-funded scholars in Paraguay had the satisfaction of learning how they had improved, based on the reliable results from the MET.