Validity of Global Self-Ratings of ESL Speaking Proficiency Based on an FSI/ILR-Reference Scale

Wilson, Kenneth M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
Adults Correlation English Second Language Language Proficiency Self Evaluation (Individuals) Switzerland Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) Validity


This study explored the validity and potential utility for self-assessment of speaking proficiency in English as a second language (ESL), of a self-rating scale intended to nominally parallel in terms of number of points or levels and corresponding descriptions of language-use behavior a scale used by members of the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) to rate performance in Language Proficiency Interviews (LPI). The study sample was composed primarily of educated, adult ESL users/learners, most of whom were native-speakers of either French or German, who provided self-assessments just prior to taking the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), in employment-related ESL training contexts in Switzerland. Correlations between self-ratings and TOEIC scores centered around .7, and the mean ILR-referenced self-rating was very close to that for "predicted ILR-scaled LPI rating," where prediction was based on a previously developed equation for predicting LPI rating from TOEIC score. Lines of inquiry warranting further research are suggested. (73pp.)

Read More


Find a Publication

Advanced Search

Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement GapLearn more about ETS's commitment to closing the achievement gap through rigorous research, thought-provoking forums and more.