TOEFL® COE 2014 Research Program
Preliminary applications described below should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 19, 2013.
TOEFL® Committee of Examiners (COE) research grants are intended to support research on topics related to the TOEFL® test and promote high-quality language assessment research as judged by the COE and Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Studies involving the collection of new empirical data can normally be funded up to US$125,000. This amount includes institutional overhead.
1.1 Investigate how TOEFL iBT® and/or TOEFL® ITP test scores relate to success in English-medium academic content programs, especially outside North America.
1.2 Investigate the interpretative inferences made by various test users on the basis of TOEFL iBT test scores.
2. FACTORS RELATED TO TEST PERFORMANCE
Investigate the cognitive, social and/or affective processes underlying performance on TOEFL iBT and/or TOEFL ITP scores.
3. TEST USE
3.1 Investigate the ways in which TOEFL iBT and/or TOEFL ITP test scores are used by universities or intensive English and/or academic English programs for preparing students for entry into higher education around the world.
3.2 Investigate the uses of TOEFL iBT/and or TOEFL ITP test scores and section scores (possibly combined with other academic information) for one or more of the following decision-making purposes: (a) admissions, (b) placement and/or promotion, (c) financial support, (d) immigration.
4. INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
4.1 Investigate computer-delivered innovative task types for assessing proficiency in academic English listening, reading, speaking, writing, or the integration of two or more of these skills.
4.2 Investigate the communication needs of university students in English-medium universities by surveying the native languages of TAs and instructors at a sample of universities and colleges, and exploring how students’ English proficiency and time of exposure to these varieties of English affect their academic listening comprehension.
4.3 Investigate and operationalize the measurement of a speaker’s accent to inform the design of listening assessments.
5. OTHER TOEFL iBT- OR TOEFL ITP-RELATED RESEARCH
Consideration will be given to research on other issues related to the TOEFL iBT or TOEFL ITP tests.
TOEFL iBT dataset and research instrument available to COE-funded researchers
The dataset and research instrument described below will be made available to principal investigators funded by the TOEFL COE research program if needed.
TOEFL iBT Public Use Dataset
Three separate datasets from each of two test forms are available and include scores accompanied by demographic information about test takers (age, gender, native language, etc.) and copies of relevant test material:
- Set 1. Item-level scores on all sections of the test for a random sample of 1,000 examinees from each form (2,000 examinees total).
- Set 2. Speech samples and final scores for each of six speaking tasks for 240 examinees from each form, stratified by quartiles (480 examinees total).
- Set 3. Writing samples and final scores for each of two writing tasks for 240 examinees from each form, stratified by quartiles (480 examinees total).
TOEFL iBT Form Creator software
Software that creates a standalone application which administers TOEFL iBT test items/sections/forms as specified by the researcher — up to two complete forms. The forms can be customized in a variety of ways (e.g., omitting items/sections, inserting pauses, changing timing) and can be administered on a local PC. For each test taker, the form produces as output a scoring file as well as speaking samples (in .wav format) and/or writing samples (in .txt format) when appropriate.
Eligibility and Conditions
Applications are invited from faculty or staff affiliated with not-for-profit organizations and institutions (e.g., universities) with expertise in English language learning and assessment research. Proposals from members of the TOEFL COE and for-profit organizations are not eligible. These studies are not intended to serve as the basis for student theses or dissertations.
Each awardee will be required to submit interim and final reports and to appropriately acknowledge the support of the TOEFL program when disseminating the results of the funded work.
Interested applicants should submit an application accordance with the instructions below. Invitations to submit a full proposal will be issued to selected applicants based on the quality and cost effectiveness of the initial application.
An application must include
- A cover page specifying:
- Title of proposed study
- The name, mailing address, email address and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
- Date of submission
- A précis of no more than 1,000 words and no less than 700 words including a description of the topic the researcher(s) plans to address, a brief rationale, the research questions and design including the data to be collected (target population, sample size, etc., if relevant), the instruments to be used, and the analyses to be conducted. The application should include a time line and a one-line estimate of the total cost, including institutional overhead. (A full budget is not required at the précis stage).
- A one-page description of the Principal Investigator’s qualifications (in short C.V. format).
- The names and email addresses of two people who are familiar with the Principal Investigator’s work in this area and are willing to act as references.
Invitations to submit a full proposal will be issued to selected applicants based on the quality of the précis. Précis will be evaluated for their relevance to the identified topics, the feasibility and quality of the proposed research, the qualifications of the Principal Investigator, organizational capacity to conduct the research, and cost effectiveness. Priority will be given to submissions from individuals not affiliated with ETS. Evaluative comments on précis will be sent only to applicants who receive an invitation to submit a full proposal.
- April 19, 2013 — Deadline for submission of application and précis
- May 31, 2013 — Response to précis
- August 9, 2013 — Deadline for submission of full proposal
- November 22, 2013 — Response to proposal