An Exploratory Dimensionality Assessment of the TOEIC Test

Wilson, Kenneth M.
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ETS Research Report
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English (Second Language) Factor Structure Listening Comprehension Reading Comprehension Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)


To measure English language listening comprehension and reading comprehension skills in samples of nonnative-English speakers, the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) test uses seven different types of test items (four for assessing listening comprehension and three for assessing reading comprehension). Results of an exploratory factor analysis involving data for native-speakers of Japanese and Korean, respectively, and other correlational evidence reported herein, suggest unidimensionality for the Listening Comprehension (LC) but not for the Reading Comprehension (RC) section: an RC item type labelled "reading" appears to be tapping aspects of "reading comprehension" that are psychometrically distinguishable from those measured in common by RC item types labelled "error recognition" and "incomplete sentences." Further research is needed to assess the consistency of these findings in samples of native-speakers of Japanese and Korean, respectively, their possible generalizability to other native-language populations of TOEIC test takers, and their practical implications.

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