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TOEFL and Hearing Impaired Students: A Feasibility Study TOEFL

Nelson, Catherine; Ragosta, Marjorie
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Disabilities, English, Gallaudet College, Hearing Impairments, Language Proficiency, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Assessing People with Disabilities


An assumption is made that some hearing-impaired students, because of their English-language deficiencies, should be treated more like foreign students than U.S.-born hearing students in the college admissions process. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) was administered to 26 hearing-impaired students at the School of Preparatory Studies, Gallaudet College. The 26 students earned mean TOEFL scores considerably below those of foreign students but above chance level. The TOEFL appeared to have potential for measuring the English language proficiency of deaf students. Recommendations included the use of the TOEFL test with appropriate modification for future research on admissions testing of hearing-impaired students.

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