What is a language audit and what is its purpose?

A language audit is a professional assessment of the language skills of employees or candidates, conducted by qualified auditors.  

The results of the audit are presented on the European CEF scale and the professional proficiency assessment is a great tool for managers, employers and the HR department to optimize human capital management. 

How does an audit differ from a regular language test?

What distinguishes an audit from a language test (placement test) is a more comprehensive approach and a broader scope of analysis, in terms of specific skills, the auditor providing recommendations for improvement and an overview report.

What skills are tested by a language audit?

Language proficiency assessment can be done in several areas

Listening comprehension

The ability to understand spoken language is important in positions that require answering phones, meeting with clients or attending presentations. Language audits assess the level of proficiency in understanding complex topics and terminology, context and various accents.

Reading comprehension

Testing a candidate's or employee's reading skills is important to assess how accurately he or she is able to understand written texts, (i.e. emails, company guidelines, manuals or supplier contracts) and draw conclusions by analyzing them. 


This language skill is particularly important for roles that require written communication, including responding to customer emails or communicating with employees. A language audit evaluates style, grammar, vocabulary, consistency and precision of expression.  


Fluent use of a foreign language is important for positions that involve direct contact with customers and business partners. The auditor's assessment looks at grammar and vocabulary, as well as pronunciation and intonation.

When is it a good idea to conduct a language audit?

  • External and internal recruitment - to quickly and accurately determine the level of knowledge to select the most qualified candidate
  • Identifying a specific area for improvement - to choose the language solution best suited to the employee's needs
  • You are looking for a candidate with clearly defined skills - making sure the candidate has the skills you want
  • Checking the progress and effectiveness of the language course - you can verify if the investment in language training has paid off
  • Looking for an additional motivator for employees taking a language course
  • Need to determine the language level of a large number of people at the same time

Language audit - benefits

  • Identifying specific language competency profiles of employees
  • The most reliable form of assessing language proficiency 
  • Commissioning a language audit of candidates greatly relieves the workload of the HR department 
  • Language proficiency report at the end of the audit
  • You learn about the strengths of your employees and areas for improvement
  • Optimize task allocation based on the strengths of your employees
  • Increase the effectiveness of language training and motivation of the team to learn
  • You hire the best employees with practical language skills needed for the position

Language audit with Berlitz - choose the skill you want to test!

Choose a solution tailored to your needs and audit with Berlitz!

Berlitz Test of Listening and Reading (BTLR)

Test your listening and reading comprehension skills simultaneously. With the BTLR language audit, you will test proficiency at your convenience - 24/7. The auditee takes a test containing 24 multiple-choice listening comprehension questions and 18 reading comprehension questions.

Available languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian)

Duration: 60 minutes

Time to obtain the results: instant results

Access to results: online, on the website

Proficiency assessment scale: Common European Framework (CEF)

Method of administration: online

Berlitz Test of Speaking Skills (BTSS)

We are well aware that the ability to communicate freely and fluently is crucial for many jobs, so in addition to our basic BTSS foreign language speaking skills test, we also offer the additional option of customizing this test to focus on the specific skills employees need to communicate with co-workers and customers on a daily basis.

The assessor sets the context of the conversation and asks questions that allow the examinee to demonstrate proficiency in speaking the target language.

Through a 20-minute series of questions, prompts and tasks, the auditor assesses proficiency in four areas:

  • fluency

  • grammatical accuracy

  • range of language skills (including style, tone and word choice)

  • intonation

Available languages: all languages taught at Berlitz 

Time to get the results: within 36h

Proficiency Rating Scale: Common European Framework (CEF) 

Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI)

The Oral Proficiency Assessment is a test that accurately tests verbal communication skills through an online platform. The participant in the language audit is given six tasks, authentic scenarios of varying difficulty, taken from authentic work situations: decision-making related to hiring, transfers, salary adjustments, or promotions.

Available languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin and more than 25 other languages!

Duration: 20 minutes

Proficiency Rating Scale: Common European Framework (CEF)

Assessment method: each test is assessed by as many as two auditors

The results will be ready in: English - 1, other languages - 2-3 business days 

Access to the results: online, on the website

WPE-CS (Writing Proficiency Exam for Customer Service)

The WPE-CS is a language proficiency test that measures the writing skills of customer service employees or candidates for the position. It is conducted via an online computer platform, where the participant is given a series of three authentic business situations specific to the customer service industry. The language audit can be taken at any time, without scheduling.

Available languages: French, German, English, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Czech and more than 10 other languages!

Duration: 60 minutes

Proficiency Rating Scale: Common European Framework (CEF)

Evaluation method: each test is evaluated by as many as two auditors

Time to obtain the results: English language - 1, other languages - 2-3 working days 

Access to the results: online, on the website

Details of the Berlitz language audit

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