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BASI Instructor pathway

Alpine Level 3 ISIA Second Language

The ISIA minimum standards require a second language as part of the Level 3 ISIA Qualification.

The time of old workbooks is over! The second language test is now a verbal test aiming at assessing BASI members’ communication skills in French, German, Spanish and Italian. This can be done either over the phone or in person with a member of staff or a trainer. The assessor will be bilingual or/and have a degree in the chosen language to be tested.

The assessment usually lasts 10-15 minutes and costs £10. Payment by credit or debit card will be taken at the time of the test. Please Note: this amount will be charged regardless of the result.

The following topics: safety, enjoyment and learning, will be covered through the conversation.

Typically, members will be asked questions about themselves, for example:

  • Where do you live? Do you have any family? When did you last go on holiday and where?

They will also be asked to elaborate on their hobbies and interests:

  • How long have you skied/snowboarded for? How did you learn? What sort of slopes do you prefer? What ski or snowboard equipment do you like? What other sports or hobbies do you enjoy?

The conversation should naturally progress towards the instructor’s career and this is when the snowsports terminology is tested:

  • Where can you get help in the event of an accident on the slopes? What are the parts of the body that are most commonly at risk in skiing/snowboarding? How are the slopes graded?

The above are just examples of the type of questions you might be asked.

Objective assessment criteria

Members will be assessed in the following areas: vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation as well as understanding and volunteering information.

Prepare for this test by surfing the internet. You may find the following websites useful: www.bbc.co.uk or www.about.com and select the language of your choice.
For French terminology specific to the snowsports industry, please go to: www.chamonix.ne

If studying online is not convenient, a good selection of language packages and publications are widely available from bookshops or the internet (Dummies.com, Teach yourself, etc...)

To arrange a suitable date and time for this test, please email basi@basi.org.uk indicating which language you are interested in and the appropriate member of staff will contact you to organise this.

Exemptions

Exemptions will no longer be granted after 1st January 2010 except to native speakers of a language other than English when proficiency in English will have been successfully demonstrated. Exemptions are no longer granted to members holding grades A or B in a foreign modern language at GCSE level.

Please Note:

The requirements for the European Mountain Safety are that a snowsport instructor be competent enough in the language of the country where they are working to effect the evacuation of an injured person. So if a BASI member intends to work in France, they should do a second language test in French. If they are going to work in Italy, they should do a second language test in Italian and so on. However, completing the minimum requirement for the BASI Level 3 in being able to converse in a second language would not be sufficient if they are not working in the country where that language is spoken. Furthermore, if a BASI member holding the Level 3 ISIA qualification decides to change the country where they work, they will still be required to demonstrate their competence in the language of the country to which they have moved. If the BASI member intends to go to several countries they will need to have language competence for each country. For example if a BASI member has completed a second language test in Italian and then goes to work in Austria, they will be required to demonstrate competence in German to the Austrian authorities.

The ISIA states within its statutes for the second language element that the instructor should be able to teach their sport in the host nation language, making the instructor much more employable. BASI has decided not to impose this stringent level yet, but it may eventually become a necessity within EU law.

This module can be done in French with ICE and training and assessment are included module on the Seasonal BASI Level 3 course

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