Life at KIS | Specialist Programme




The Korean International School is a Cambridge registered school, and as such has access to an array of Cambridge materials and exams. Every primary and secondary student has the opportunity to attend one of the many ESOL courses (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and the school runs every level from the YLE’s (Young Learners tests) all the way through to the Proficiency exam ( CPE ).

Cambridge ESOL offers the world's leading range of certificates for learners of English, taken by over 3 million people in 130 countries. They help people gain entrance to university or college, improve job prospects or measure progress in English. More than 8,500 employers, universities and government bodies around the world recognize these qualifications. These qualifications are plotted against the six levels of the framework:


The General English qualifications start from certificates aimed at primary school children (YLE) and progress towards qualifications for highly advanced students. You can see that attaining each certificate is a step that leads naturally to taking a more challenging test. Cambridge ESOL exams test candidates on what they know rather than what they don't know, so learning is encouraged and confidence developed. Even the most basic certificate is a start on the pathway to qualifications that are useful for work and study.


Young Learners English
In today's world, learning English is an essential skill that will help your children achieve their full potential in later life. The sooner they start learning, the better. With the right methods, children can learn English quickly, effectively and enjoyably.


Children who learn English when they are young will have an advantage that will stay with them all their life. Cambridge ESOL recognises this and has developed a special system of tests designed to get children of primary school age and upwards on the path to learning English.
Young Learners English (YLE) is a reliable and consistent measure of how well your child is doing in the skills of listening, speaking and reading and writing. Tests are designed to make learning fun and children are encouraged by working towards certificates and earning the 'shields' that record their progress.

There are three levels for children to work through, Starters, Movers and Flyers, with Starters being the first, aimed at young children with very basic skills. As children develop and work their way up to the Flyers certificate, they reach a level that will enable them to aim for the Key English Test (KET) or the Preliminary English Test (PET) in the General English range of certificates, qualifications which will be of value for further study or in the workplace.

Key English Test (KET)
KET is Cambridge ESOL's exam which recognises the ability to deal with everyday written and spoken English at a basic level. KET is at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), an internationally recognised benchmark of language ability, and it is usually taken by year 7 students.

At A2 level, typical users can be expected to:
  • understand and use everyday expressions and basic phrases
  • introduce themselves and answer basic questions about their personal details
  • interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly.
A KET certificate is valid for life. Students will not need to take the exam again. KET is also a truly international certificate, recognised around the world for business and study purposes. Thousands of employers, universities and government departments officially recognise KET as a basic qualification in English.

Although KET is a basic exam, it offers a chance to find out students’ strengths and weaknesses in using English, and gives them a pathway to higher qualifications such as the Preliminary English Test (PET) and First Certificate in English (FCE).

Preliminary English Test (PET)
PET is an exam for people who can use everyday written and spoken English at an intermediate level. It covers all four language skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking. Preparing for the exam is a popular way to develop and improve students’ language skills because it provides practical language practice in a variety of everyday work, study and leisure situations.

PET reflects the use of language in real life, such as understanding signs and announcements, and is accepted by many employers as proof of ability to use English in clerical, secretarial or managerial jobs. It is also widely accepted for use in jobs where spoken English is necessary such as tourism, retail, construction, manufacturing and engineering.

PET is at Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and it is usually taken by year 8 and year 9 students.

At B1 level, typical users can be expected to:
  • understand the main points of straightforward instructions or public announcements
  • deal with most of the situations they might meet when travelling as a tourist in an English-speaking country
  • ask simple questions and take part in factual conversations in a work environment
  • write letters or make notes on familiar matters.
PET is a truly international certificate, recognised by administrative, industrial, and service-based employers as a qualification in intermediate English. It is also accepted by a large number of educational institutions for study purposes. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Gillette and KPMG all recognise the value of PET in their overseas offices.

PET offers an easy to understand pathway to other, higher qualifications such as the First Certificate in English (FCE), and the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE).

First Certificate in English (FCE)
FCE is an exam for people who can use everyday written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level. It is an ideal exam for people who want to use English for work or study purposes.FCE is at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and it is usually taken by year 10 students.

At B2 level, typical users can be expected to:
  • understand the main ideas of complex pieces of writing
  • keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics, expressing opinions and presenting arguments
  • produce clear, detailed writing, expressing opinions and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different points of view.
Like all Cambridge ESOL exams, an FCE certificate is valid for life. FCE is truly international, recognised around the world for business and study purposes. Thousands of employers, universities and government departments officially recognise FCE as a qualification in upper-intermediate English. FCE gives students a pathway to higher qualifications such as the Certificate in Advanced English and Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
CAE is an exam for advanced users of English. This exam is aimed at people who can use written and spoken English for most professional and social purposes. It is widely recognised for work or study purposes. CAE is at Level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and it is usually taken by year 11 students.

At C1 level, typical users can be expected to:
  • read quickly enough to cope with an academic course
  • understand complex opinions
  • produce clear, well structured and detailed pieces of writing
  • express themselves well with a good degree of fluency
  • use English flexibly for social, professional and academic purposes.
CAE is a truly international exam, recognised by hundreds of employers as proof of advanced ability in English, and also by universities and colleges as proof of ability to study in English to undergraduate level. Companies such as Microsoft, Airbus, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers recognise the value of CAE in their overseas offices. Passing CAE is a major step towards taking the highest qualification, the CPE.

Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
CPE is Cambridge ESOL's most advanced exam. It is aimed at people who use English for professional or study purposes. CPE is at Level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and it is usually taken by year 12 students.

At C2 level, typical users can be expected to:
  • understand with ease virtually everything they hear and read
  • make accurate and complete notes during a presentation
  • understand colloquial asides
  • talk about complex and sensitive issues without awkwardness
  • express themselves precisely and fluently.
CPE is a truly international exam, recognised by hundreds of employers as proof of proficiency in English and also by universities and colleges as proof of ability to study in English to undergraduate level. Companies such as Coca-Cola, IBM, Nestlé, Sony, Procter & Gamble and Nokia recognise the value of CPE in their overseas offices.