Saudi Arabia to launch 'Arabic IELTS' test for non-native speakers
Saudi Arabia is to launch a standardised Arabic-language competency test akin to the IELTS test for English, Riyadh said on Sunday.
The Arabic Language Proficiency Test for non-native Arabic speakers will assess reading, writing, listening, and comprehension skills, said the King Salman Global Academy for the Arabic Language, a governmental organisation.
The test will be set to the standards of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and "measure linguistic skills in line with the best global practices in the field", the academy said.
Experts are developing a course of work for the assessment, whose date of introduction was not given.
"The #ArabicCompetencyTest comes as an extension of the kingdom’s vital role in serving the Arabic language and enhancing its position. #SaudiVision2030," Saudi culture minister Bader bin Abdullah Al Saud said of the test on Sunday.
As part of its Saudi Vision 2030 initiative, Riyadh is overhauling and pumping money into state sectors including education.
According to an authoritative report released last year, Saudi Arabia was one of the "fastest risers" in the world's best universities for 2022 index.
The country is home to a significant non-Arab population. Though Arabic is the kingdom's only official language, English is also widely spoken.