Examination in Modern Greek for unemployed Greek repatriates, refugees, and immigrants

Examinations for the Certificate of Attainment in Greek, which will take place within the framework of the program entitled “The teaching of Modern Greek at certified Vocational Training Centers for unemployed repatriates/immigrants/refugees and unemployed persons for whom inadequate knowledge of the Greek language is a hindrance to social assimilation”
Following the publication of an announcement by the Ministry of Employment & Social Protection regarding Greek language teaching programs at certified Vocational Training Centres (KEK) for unemployed repatriates/immigrants/refugees and unemployed persons for whom inadequate knowledge of the Greek language is a hindrance to social assimilation, the Centre for the Greek Language (KEG) releases the following information concerning the specifics of the examination for the certification of attainment in Greek.
1. Level of proficiency in Greek
As mentioned in the announcement (page 7), following the successful completion of the program, its beneficiaries should have attained the necessary linguistic proficiency to participate in Greek language examinations corresponding to the Centre for the Greek Language’s level Β (300 hours of previous study) as carried out by recognized certification institutions or by recognized educational institutions able to award a certificate of attainment in Greek at level Β.
Let us note that the KEG is the only state institution awarding the official state Certificate of Attainment in Greek worldwide [art. 10 par. 1 & 2 of Statute 2413/1996 (ΦΕΚ 124/τ. Α΄/17-6-96) and Presidential Decree 363/1998 (ΦΕΚ 242/τ. Α΄/29-10-98)].
2. Description of Level Β
The examination consists of four parts, corresponding to the four classic linguistic skills, namely the comprehension and production of oral and written speech. Each skill is evaluated on a scale out of 25 (perfect). In order to earn a certificate of attainment, the candidate must receive a passing score in each of the four skills. If he fails in any of the four, he fails the examination.
Specifically, the reading and listening skills consist of two parts, including closed exercises (e.g. true/false or multiple choice) or open ones (e.g. notes, etc.). The writing examination requires candidates to produce two texts of 100-120 words each. During the speaking examination, candidates are examined in pairs, and the examination is divided into three parts. The first part calls for the candidates to introduce themselves, the second part requires them to express an opinion regarding a certain issue, and in the third part they participate in a “role-playing game.”
In order to succeed, candidates must be able to understand essential details of certain subjects, such as newspaper advertisements, announcements in the press, on the radio, on television and in public venues, appliance operating manuals, personal correspondence, messages, responses, comments, etc. They should also be able to communicate effectively in a limited range of situations, express personal opinions in a simple manner, and compose short essays intended to transmit information on a limited range of subjects.
3. Teaching and examination materials
Concerning the teaching manuals that educators may use in the teaching of Greeks to this group, the KEG recommends a short bibliography in the appendix entitled “Recommended Bibliography.” It is also necessary for the students to know the structure of the examinations and the types of exercises they will need to complete in order to acquire the skills needed to succeed in the attainment examinations during the language classes leading up to attainment level Β as defined by the KEG. To assist with candidates’ overall preparation for the examination, the KEG provides past examination papers. The above material is provided by the KEG based on a registry of candidates and their teachers.
4. The examination procedure
Let us first observe that the KEG is the only official institution under the Ministry for National Education and Religions to determine linguistic policy and education, as well as the only institution that offers the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Greek worldwide. It assumed responsibility for, and successfully carried out, the examinations for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Greek for trainees at Vocational Training Centres during 2002-2003.
The dates for the examinations will be posted according to agreements to be signed between the KEG and the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection (Yp.A.K.P.). The examination fee has been fixed at 55 euros. Lastly, for the candidates’ benefit, the examination centers will be determined for each examination period based on the geographic distribution of the Vocational Training Centres where the candidates are training.
The examination is conducted in a single day and lasts 105 minutes (55΄ for listening and reading skills and 50΄ for the writing examination). After the first three parts are complete, there is a half hour break, following which the candidates are examined in pairs to evaluate their speaking skills. Each pair is examined for 12΄ to 15΄.
On the day of the examination, each examination center is provided with one or two representatives of the KEG, who bear exclusive responsibility for the smooth completion of the process, and who guarantee the validity and reliability of the state examinations. Proctors are recommended by the participating Vocational Training Centres and must be approved by the KEG.
5. The structure of the examination
As noted in the description of level Β, the examinations consist of four parts, which correspond to the 4 linguistic skills (comprehension and production of oral and written language). The reading and listening exercises are of the closed type (e.g. true/false questions, multiple choice questions) or of the open type (chiefly in the form of notes). The examination questions are developed by the Division’s researchers, while the texts used are based on authentic texts edited in order to conform to the proficiency level of the candidate. The difficulty level of the texts is also crosschecked using software designed to test readability using the following indices: the Flesch Reading Ease, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, the SMOG, and the Flesch Fog Index.
6. Grading
The papers are graded by experienced KEG evaluators. These evaluators attend seminars on objective and standardized grading practices, where the specific grading criteria are discussed, before reading the candidates’ papers. Two evaluators grade each paper; if there is a wide discrepancy in the two grades awarded, there is a third evaluation.
Two months following the examination, the results are sent out to the headquarters of the Vocational Training Centres, which is where the candidates are informed. Finally, the certificates awarded to successful candidates are sent out to the headquarters of the Vocational Training Centres, where the candidates can receive them three months after the examination