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Assessment and Learning

Assessment information can be used by language teachers to inform their teaching and by students to help them learn and improve. The TOEFL® research program conducts research on different topics related to language assessment and learning. This research provides guidance on how to use test scores to inform classroom teaching and assessment, and ensures that the TOEFL Family of Assessments reflects the language knowledge and skills representative of different EFL curricula.

Strategies used by young English learners in an assessment context

The strategies language learners use when responding to test questions can show whether learners' thought processes reflect what the test is intended to measure. This study examined the strategies used by young language learners when they answered TOEFL Primary® test questions. Interview data with students suggested that the majority of the strategies used were relevant to what the test is designed to measure.

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Examining content representativeness of a young learner language assessment: EFL teachers' perspectives

This study examines the importance of the language knowledge and skills measured by the TOEFL Primary Reading and Listening test. Judgments made by EFL teachers from 15 countries suggest that the TOEFL Primary test effectively measures the important language knowledge and skills commonly taught in EFL curricula designed for young language learners around the world. The results also imply that TOEFL Primary can be meaningfully used to support language teaching and learning.

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Out of many, one: Challenges in teaching multilingual Kenyan primary students in English

This study examines the appropriateness of the use of the TOEFL Primary Reading and Listening test to measure the English-language proficiency of Kenyan primary school students and explores challenges teachers face. The data show that the TOEFL Primary test is an appropriate tool to measure Kenyan primary students' English proficiency. The researchers recommend that teachers make use of students' first language skills to help develop their English skills.

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Young learners' response processes when taking computerized tasks for speaking assessment

This study compares the processes that nonnative English-speaking children and native English-speaking children use when responding to TOEFL Primary speaking tasks. The analysis yielded some differences between nonnative and native speakers, with the former spending more time looking at the countdown timers. The study highlights the importance of taking into consideration the thought processes young learners are engaged in when designing speaking tasks for this population.

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The effects of different levels of performance feedback on TOEFL iBT® reading practice test performance

This study examines how different types of feedback provided to students who are preparing for the TOEFL iBT® test can influence their reading test performance. Results show that different types of feedback did not significantly impact reading test scores. However, students perceived that the feedback provided was useful for them to understand better the different TOEFL iBT reading item types and helped them develop strategies to process the reading passages.

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Are teacher perspectives useful? Incorporating EFL teacher feedback in the development of a large-scale international English test

This study reports the use of teacher feedback to inform the development of the TOEFL Junior test. Feedback from teachers on the appropriateness of the pilot test items and the accuracy of the test scores were collected and considered when test developers revised the items. The study highlights the importance of engaging teachers in the process of developing large-scale language assessments.

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Evaluating a learning tool for young English learners: The case of the TOEFL Primary English Learning Center

The TOEFL Primary English Learning Center (ELC) is an online language-learning tool designed for young language learners. This study examines users' perceptions of the ELC through surveys and interviews with teachers and students. The ELC was perceived positively as a tool for language practice outside the classroom and for preparing students to take the TOEFL Primary test.

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