Uses of the Secondary Level English Proficiency™ (SLEP®) Test: A Survey of Current Practice

Author(s):
Wilson, Kenneth M.
Publication Year:
1993
Report Number:
RR-93-09, TOEFL-RR-43
Source:
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
English tests listening comprehension reading comprehension secondary level English proficiency test test use

Abstract

The Secondary Level Proficiency™ (SLEP®) test, offered by the SLEP School Services Program (SSP) at Educational Testing Service (ETS), measures English language listening comprehension and reading comprehension skills. It was developed for use with nonnative English-speaking students in grades 7-12. SLEP is administered and scored locally, and the SLEP program does not receive routine feedback from local test users. The work described herein was undertaken to obtain formal feedback from a sample of SLEP users by means of a survey questionnaire. Questionnaires were mailed in April 1991, to over 300 potential SLEP-use contexts worldwide (addresses of individuals, institutions, or agencies placing orders for the SLEP or related materials within the most recent 18-month period). Although the return rate was relatively low (71 usable returns), the distribution of the returns by general institutional type and location was similar to that of the total sample. Survey findings provide information regarding testing practices, purposes of testing, selected characteristics of examinees (age/grade level, language background, and so on), test-users' perceptions of the principal strengths and limitations of the SLEP and/or the SLEP Test Manual (and suggestions for modification), the extent and nature of local studies concerned with validating the SLEP, and so on. Implications of the findings for SLEP-related research and development activities are discussed.

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