Mapping the TOEFL® Junior™ Test Onto the Common European Framework of Reference

Author(s):
Baron, Patricia A.; Tannenbaum, Richard J.
Publication Year:
2011
Report Number:
RM-11-07
Source:
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
CEFR, TOEFL Junior, standard setting, cut scores

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to conduct a standard setting to link scores on the TOEFL® Junior™ test to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The CEFR describes six levels of language proficiency organized into three bands: A1 and A2 (basic user), B1 and B2 (independent user), C1 and C2 (proficient user). “The [CEFR] provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. It describes . . . what language learners have to learn in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively” (CEFR, Council of Europe, 2001, p. 1). The TOEFL Junior test measures the academic and social English-language skills representative of English-medium instructional environments of middle school students. The test consists of multiple-choice questions in Listening Comprehension, Language Form and Meaning, and Reading Comprehension sections. Three levels of the CEFR: A2, B1, and B2, were judged as most clearly aligned with TOEFL Junior sections. A modified Angoff standard-setting approach was followed to identify the TOEFL Junior scores linked to these three CEFR levels. Fourteen language experts from nine countries served on the standard-setting panel. The results of this study provide policy makers with minimum scaled scores (cut scores) recommended by the panel for each of the three CEFR levels on the TOEFL Junior sections.

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