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Validating the Revised Test of Spoken English Against a Criterion of Communicative Success ESL TSE

Powers, Donald E.; Schedl, Mary A.; Wilson-Leung, Susan; Butler, Frances A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-99-05, TOEFL-RR-63
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Construct Validity, English as a Second Language (ESL), Test of Spoken English (TSE), Interrater Reliability, Listening Comprehension, Prediction, Teaching Assistants, Undergraduate Students


The objective was to determine the degree to which official TSE scores are predictive of listeners' ability to understand the messages conveyed by TSE examinees. Analysis revealed a strong association between TSE score levels and judgments, reactions, and understanding of listeners. This finding applied to all TSE tasks and to nearly all of the several kinds of different evaluations made by listeners. Along with other information, the evidence gathered here should help the TSE program meet professional standards for test validation. The procedures may also prove useful in the future test development efforts as a way of determining the difficulty of speaking tasks (and possibly writing tasks).

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