The UNICA-CLA project is a new and dynamic learning path that will offer the opportunity to achieve, through free courses for students enrolled in the academic year 2019-2020 and following, the language level required to access master’s degrees. For some Master’s courses the level B2 is an admission requirement, while for others it must be achieved by the end of the degree.
For both B1 and B2 levels, the participating students will receive an Open Badge, which they can use during their university career, to apply for Erasmus grants and for internships abroad, to acquire additional credits, or to participate in higher level English language courses.
The new learning path that these students will undertake will replace, in the years to come, the English exams present in their degree courses.
UNICA-CLA project phases
PHASE 1. Initial skills assessment
Placement test for all students. Students included in the ESSE3 lists and enrolled in the first year of their degree at our University (starting from the academic year 2019/2020) will be invited to register for the tests according to the planned schedule.
Students will go to the laboratories or virtual classrooms of the University Language Centre to take the placement test organised as in the figure.
PHASE 2. Online courses and platforms
For students who do not pass the A2 test, we provide self-study support via our A2 online platform. At the end of the self-study course, students will have to take a test in order to move on to the B1 online course with the support of an expert tutor and a final test.
Students who have not passed the B1 test will have to attend the online course lasting approximately 3 months, supported by graduate tutors. At the end of the course, students will take a final written and oral test held by lecturers at the University Language Centre.
On the other hand, students at B1 level will have access to 80-hour B2 level courses in the classroom or on an online platform. More information and details are available in the Project Vademecum.
Students who achieve a B2 level in the placement test and in the oral examination will be exempt from attending the courses and will immediately receive the Open Badges for their level.
Open Badge (digital certificate)
The University Language Centre, supported by the University of Cagliari, has adopted and promoted the adoption of Bestr Open Badges
(https://bestr.it/organization/show/126), in order to provide its students with secure, portable, detailed digital certificates.
English Language Open Badges highlight the skills that students acquire for each learning step of the Project and will be automatically recognised in their academic career.
Recognition of certifications
Freshmen who have hold an international certificate (A2, B1 or higher) issued by Cambridge ESOL, IELTS, TOEFL, TRINITY ISE (Trinity GESE is not recognised), PEARSON (PT-Academic) for no longer than 3 years (i.e., no earlier than October 2016 for freshmen enrolled in the academic year 2019/2020) are not required to take the English language test. Please check constantly for updates of the list of certifications recognised by the University Language Centre.
A2 online course
Students who have achieved the A1 level in the test will use the A2 online platform of the University Language Centre as their main learning tool for the acquisition of the English language skills at CEFR level A2 through self-study. This resource is open to students, free of charge and accessible via ESSE3 credentials. The course is organised into 10 units, each comprising a video episode complemented by pronunciation and comprehension exercises, a text with reading comprehension exercises, and grammar notes accompanied by exercises.
B1 online course
Students who have achieved the A2 level in the test (or who have not passed the oral test aimed at assessing the B1 level, or who have presented a suitable A2 international certification) can access the B1 online course accompanied by face-to-face or online tutoring for the acquisition of the English language skills at CEFR level B1.
Thus, students will attend the online course for about 40 hours of self-study and with the support of expert tutors in the chat and/or via Webex for an additional 40 hours, for a total of 80 hours to be completed in about 3 months. The course is organised into 10 units, each comprising a video episode complemented by pronunciation and comprehension exercises, a text with reading comprehension exercises, and grammar notes accompanied by exercises.
Students who have achieved the B1 level in the test and in the speaking part (or who have not passed the oral test aimed at assessing the B2 level, or who have presented a suitable B1 international certification) can attend a traditional 80-hour B2 course in a real or virtual classroom (via WebEx) taught by language experts of the University Language Centre.