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Mapping TOEIC Test Scores to the STANAG 6001 Language Proficiency Levels

Tannenbaum, Richard J.; Baron, Patricia A.
Publication Year:
Powers, Donald E. (ed.) The Research Foundation for the TOEIC Tests: A Compendium of Studies: Volume II. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, Sep 2013, p7.1-7.17
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Alignment of Standards Cut Scores English as a Foreign Language (EFL) English as a Second Language (ESL) English Language Assessment (ELA) English Language Skills Four-Skills Assessment of English Language Proficiency Listening Skills Reading Skills Speaking Skills Standard Setting Standardization Agreement (STANAG) Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) Test Scores Test-Taker Performance Writing Skills


SUMMARY: STANAG 6001 is a NATO Standardization Agreement which describes explicit listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency levels necessary for military personnel. This study aimed to identify which minimum scores for each of the TOEIC tests' four skill areas correspond to the different STANAG proficiency levels. Thus, this study provides guidance to score users who need to make decisions about language proficiency based on achievement of STANAG proficiency levels. In this study, several procedures were implemented to identify appropriate TOEIC cut scores for listening, reading, speaking, and writing. A panel of 15 individuals from seven NATO countries were trained on both the STANAG levels and the content of the TOEIC tests. These individuals analyzed both the STANAG levels and the TOEIC test to determine the degree of proficiency overlap between them; that is, how well the STANAG descriptors cover the proficiency levels that the TOEIC test is designed to assess. This helped to determine where to target the location of TOEIC cut scores. The panel then identified the specific TOEIC scores that corresponded to different STANAG levels for listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. This study’s outcomes help support the claim that TOEIC scores can be used to make decisions that reflect the needs of score users – in this case, score users who make decisions based on STANAG proficiency levels.

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