An Exploration of Speaking Proficiency Measures in the TOEFL® Context

Clark, John L. D.; Swinton, Spencer S.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-79-08, TOEFL-RR-04
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
English tests foreign language tests language proficiency speech communication Test of English as a Foreign Language™


This report describes a three-year study involving the development and experimental administration of test formats and item types aimed at measuring the English speaking proficiency of TOEFL® candidates or other non-native speakers of English on a direct basis (i.e., through the evaluation of actual speech production on the part of the examinee). Factor analysis and other techniques were used to identify subsets of item formats and individual items having satisfactory correlations with the Foreign Service Institute criterion interview administered to the test subjects. The results were grouped into a prototype Test of Spoken English™.

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