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Ordinate® Announces ICAO Aviation English Test Availability

Ordinate® Announces ICAO Aviation English Test Availability

Test enhances safety by verifying spoken aviation English for new standard

Ordinate Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Harcourt Assessment, today announced the VersantTM Aviation English Test will be available to begin testing pilots and air traffic controllers on July 31, 2007 in support of the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements for English language proficiency.

Since signing a cooperative research and development agreement in February 2006 with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Ordinate developed a specialized test that measures spoken aviation English proficiency. The test assesses spoken English proficiency levels against the standards for English language set by ICAO to promote enhanced safety. Using the test, airlines and airport authorities can ensure the English proficiency levels of their pilots and controllers meet or exceed the "Operational" Level 4 standard required by ICAO by the March 2008 deadline.

"The test's automated scoring provides consistent results without the variation of human ratings," said Karen Chiang, General Manager Ordinate. "Because of the high stakes of the test and specialized subject matter, identifying qualified evaluation experts presents a significant challenge. Using the VersantTM solution provides a more efficient, scaleable option to aviation employers who must certify their employees meet the ICAO requirement."

"This aviation test has been designed by a highly specialized team of both aviation industry and linguistic experts" said Bob Trott from the UK Guild of Air Traffic Controllers and a participant in the ICAO Proficiency Requirements in Common English (PRICE) study group.

Guided by Ordinate's language testing experts, the development team followed a rigorous process to design the test with aviation veterans who have operational, training, and ICAO language committee experience. The test is now complete and undergoing extensive field trials with more than 1200 pilots and air traffic controllers to confirm its validity and reliability.

The VersantTM Aviation English Test is a speaking and listening test that measures the test taker's ICAO level of proficiency with aviation English. Using Ordinate's patented language processing technology, the test produces a score that correlates highly with expert human scores. The VersantTM test can be administered to multiple people and locations securely over the phone or by computer, with a detailed score report indicating the ICAO language level available shortly after the test is completed.

For more information on the Versant Aviation English Test, or to try a sample test, contact Ordinate at 800-708-7277 in the US or +1 650-470-3600 internationally, or go online at aviation.versanttest.com.

About Ordinate Corporation

Ordinate Corporation is the creator of Versant, the leading test of spoken language. Versant tests measure speaking skills for leading corporations, government agencies, universities, and school systems. The company was founded by two Stanford University professors in 1996 to develop advanced language testing systems using speech processing technology and the advanced science of linguistics. Over the last 11 years, over 27 million test questions have been delivered to, responded by, and automatically scored for individuals from over 100 countries around the world. The Versant telephone and computer-based tests are now available for English, Spanish, Dutch, and Arabic. Ordinate is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harcourt Assessment Inc., which is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc.

Ordinate is a registered trademark and Versant is a trademark of Ordinate Corporation, a Harcourt Assessment company. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Harcourt Assessment, Inc.

Based in San Antonio, Harcourt Assessment, Inc. is a leading provider of high-quality assessment instruments and testing programs published under two brand names -- Harcourt Assessment and PsychCorpTM. For more than 85 years, Harcourt Assessment has been providing insight about children and adults; informing instruction, curricula, and clinical practice; collaborating with educators and clinical professionals; and creating assessment innovations, in order to provide the most effective assessment solutions for the success of all individuals.

The company is a unit of Harcourt Education, a global education provider serving students and teachers in Pre-K through grade 12, adult learners, and readers of all ages. Harcourt Education is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc. (www.reedelsevier.com), a world-leading publisher and information provider. It is owned equally by Reed Elsevier PLC (NYSE: RUK) and Reed Elsevier NV (NYSE: ENL).

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