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Many Blue, Green and White Badge Tourist Guides are qualified to guide in more than one language. Their high-level language proficiency is renowned globally and reflects rigorous language assessment, details of which may be found in this section of the website.

Situation Update: Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the 2020 language examinations will not be held.

The IoL Educational Trust (IoLET) – the associated charity of the Chartered Institute of Linguists– currently provides specifically-tailored language exams for our members.

The exams remain in the format introduced in 2015 but will be handled entirely by IoLET.  This arrangement has a number of advantages both to candidates and the Institute as a whole, namely:

  • we are able to call on the recognised expertise of the IoLET, which already runs exams for a number of other prestigious UK clients;
  • the exams will be more robust, with improved consistency across languages;
  • there will be increased flexibility as to exam timings and locations;
  • there will be an increased range of language options; and
  • the exams will be completely independent.

As stated above, the exams will be in the same format as in 2015 and candidates will still have to meet the same standards (C1 for non-English, and C2 for English on the CEFR scale).  As before, the exams will be entirely oral and will reflect the way guides need to use language skills in their day-to-day activities.  These standards are deliberately very high (equivalent to university proficiency levels), reflecting the need for guides to be fluent in their chosen languages.


2019 Language Workshops

The 2019 language examination workshops took place on Wednesday 26th June 2019, at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College (Richmond campus).

The workshops aim to give prospective candidates an understanding of the standards required, the marking criteria, and what to expect in the actual examination, as well as an opportunity to practise.


2019 Language Examinations

The language examinations took place in London on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th November 2019. All arrangements were handled through IoLET. The IoLET administer the exams, communicate results and handle any queries/appeals in accordance with their own procedures. A list of sucessful candidates will be provided to the Isntitute and we will update member records, accordingly.


The format of the Language Examinations for both 'English' and 'Non-English' examinations was revised in 2015, and the standards required were clearly defined in terms of the CEFR – the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (for details please see http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Cadre1_en.asp).

Further information about language examinations can be found here

ITG Language Examinations - Handbook for Candidates 2019

English Exam Summary

Assessment Criteria English


Non-English Exam Summary

Assessment Criteria Non-English Languages


Language Exam Topics for Discussion