Appen has recently made a big change that might affect assessors on the Arrow/Ads Assessor projects.
As of November 2, 2020, the company is now giving independent contractors a mandatory language assessment.
You may know of this change as an email was recently sent out to people working on this project, but we’ll go over all the details.
It appears that every rater currently completing non-English tasks for project Arror will be taking the language test over the next few months.
This is now a new requirement from the EQOQ Team to ensure that raters have been language certified. Right now the company is deploying the tests from one market to another, and it will take some time, and you will likely get email updates concerning this soon if you are working on these projects.
From what we can tell, the reason they are doing this is because it’s possible some raters are not proficient in the language they are working on, and this can cause a big problem in rating if you don’t understand the language. And no, a translator is probably not going to help you, and that might also be the reason for problems. It is apparent that some managers have seen some problems where language is a factor.
The other reason is because Appen can pay some extremely low rates in some locales. This drives raters to go after higher paid locales, and Appen has seen this and added this test to exclude raters who are not proficient with the projects local language.
One thing to keep in mind, and this is no surprise, is that the test has been said to be difficult even for native speakers. Therefore, it will be almost impossible to pass the language assessment at 100%, especially for non-native speakers.
One of the things they pointed out was that if you speak the language that you are working on at a proficient level, then you have nothing to worry about. But if you’re a rater and you are working in a specific market, say English speaking, and you don’t know English very well, you could be running into a problem real soon.
The company wants its raters to have a high level of language ability across arrow. This has been a strong directive of the client as well. Until now, Appen hasn’t had any way to test the language for the market raters are working in. However, it was decided many months ago that something had to be done to test raters and their language ability and the assessment itself has been months in the making, and the new assessment has been approved by the clients and professional language-assessment experts.
It’s pretty straight forward to as why they are doing this; to make sure that everyone working on Project Arrow has the necessary level of language comprehension required for the work you are doing.
And yes, this does mean that everyone new coming into the project will be required to pass this exam.
For those who have been working on the project for some time and haven’t had any problems, the company feels you will do well on the test.
The big question then arrises: Do I need to be completely fluent in the language market I am working on? Appen has said no, and that they have taken into consideration various levels of fluency, and they understand that some raters weren’t born into the language for the project they are currently working on. One way to measure your ability is that if you can speak the language fairly well, then you will do fine on the language assessement.
Some of the info we have been able to gather from the emails about this is that you should think of it more like a monthly client ‘Blind Exam’. But one thing is certain, you could be removed from the project if you fail it.
Once again, if you can speak the language good, then you will probably be fine. The team that created the language assessments have made what they call ‘generous and reasonable pass thresholds’. The test itself is designed in a way that it will test the true language ability of raters. They warn that some of the questions can be difficult, and some are technically challenging. However, it is normal and those questions will lean more towards native speakers to give Appen an idea of the raters ability. And no, one question isn’t going to fail you. Keep in mind that the test is an assessment only. However, if you fail badly, then you will likely be removed from the project.
There are some exceptions to this. If you are a rater that has been on the project for a long time, and you fail the test badly, the company will take a look at your performance on the project before removing you. They may offer you a retake of the language assessment, or they may offer you English only work.
The true purpose of the test is to ensure that each local, or market, is properly staffed with raters who are able to perform the target language work proficiently, and their language assessment was designed to tell them this. Exceptions will only be made on a case by case basis.
For those who wonder if you will be paid for the test, the answer is ‘yes’. The assessment itself has been tested and it looks like it will take about one hour to complete it depending on your ability. The test is timed, so you’ll need to make sure to move at a normal pace. Appen wants raters to do the test in one session, but say that it won’t be held against you if you need to stop and come back.
The test itself is multiple choice, and there is a reading comprehension section and two vocabulary sections. Be aware of these tests as they all have specific purposes and they will test various semantic nuances of each language.
We recommend brushing up on your language skills at this time before taking the language assessment test if you are not a native speaker.
We wish all raters luck, and if you need help with something, or if you have already taken this test, we’d like to hear from you and your experience.
We’ll keep you updated if we get more information, so make sure to bookmark the page for easy access.