Job Analysis

Language Job Analysis

Which type of testing is right for your organization? What level of language skill do your employees need? ALTA can help you answer these important questions through its Language Job Analysis Services. ALTA’s Language Job Analysis Services are designed to help organizations accomplish the first three steps of the Language Needs Analysis:

  • Identifying which non-primary languages are needed within your organization (i.e. Spanish, Japanese, French, etc.). Non-primary languages are all of the languages except the primary (usually English) language that are needed by the organization.
  • Determining the type of language capabilities required (e.g. speaking, listening, reading, writing) for each job requiring non-primary language skills.
  • Defining the level of capability (e.g. native-fluent, nearly fluent, advanced, beginner, etc.) needed for each type of language capability (i.e. What is the minimum capability needed to do each job?)

By defining the language requirements for a job in quantifiable terms, an organization can then use language testing results as part of the selection process. It also provides a defensible basis for where the pass-fail line is placed when testing is done, and ensures that the results you receive are meaningful to you. This allows your organization to meet the EEOC requirement for testing in employee job selection (U.S. Government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection [Section 1607.15, B., 4]).

Identifying the Non-primary Languages Needed

ALTA will meet with you to identify where non-primary languages are used in your organization. This analysis includes a review of the communications with your customers, employees, suppliers and other organizations that impact your business (e.g. government). The analysis focuses on all of the types of communication that takes place. The output is an identification of the specific jobs that require language skills and which languages are required. For example, a telephone sales clerk in the domestic sales department may require both Spanish and English language skills.

Determining the Types of Language Skills Required

Each job requiring non-primary language skills will be analyzed to determine the type of language skills required (speaking, listening, writing and reading). The analysis is based on the types of communication that the job requires. The output is a language skill requirement for each job. For example, a telephone sales clerk in the domestic sales department may require both Spanish and English language skills, but only for listening and speaking. No reading or writing in Spanish is required.

Defining the Level of Capability

Each job requiring non-primary language skills will be analyzed to determine the level of capability necessary for each type of skill. Defining the level of capability for a job is done by combining two sources of information. First, an analysis is done of the actual communication (oral and written) that occurs on the job. This may involve reviewing recorded tapes, correspondence or whatever information is available that demonstrates the actual communication that takes place. This analysis identifies the level of capability needed in listening, speaking, reading and writing in quantitative terms.

Second, interviews are conducted with employees and supervisors who actually perform the work. This provides for a realistic view of the language capabilities. When combined, the two sources of information provide a powerful analysis that quantifies the level of the language capabilities necessary for the job. For more information, or to contact ALTA regarding your testing requirements, please visit the Language Testing homepage.

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