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TOEFL 2000 Reading Framework: A Working Paper TOEFL ESL

Author(s):
Enright, Mary K.; Grabe, William; Koda, Keiko; Mosenthal, Peter B.; Mulcahy-Ernt, Patricia; Schedl, Mary A.
Publication Year:
2000
Report Number:
RM-00-04, TOEFL-MS-17
Source:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Report
Page Count:
79
Subject/Key Words:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), TOEFL 2000, Reading Comprehension, English as a Second Language (ESL), Test Construction, Computer Assisted Testing, Reading Skills, Language Proficiency, Reading Tests

Abstract

The TOEFL 2000 framework monograph (Jamieson, Jones, Kirsch, Mosenthal, & Taylor, 1999) identifies a test domain and lays out a process for the design of a new TOEFL test based on communicative language abilities. This monograph on the assessment of reading comprehension addresses the proposed TOEFL 2000 framework described in Jamieson et al. (1999) and defines how it can be realized and implemented in a test of reading comprehension. The reading framework described in this document was developed by the authors, consisting of internal ETS staff and external reading experts, who have worked together over the past two years. This monograph documents how three broad perspectives were considered in defining the construct of reading comprehension for assessment purposes: a processing perspective, a task perspective, and a reader purpose perspective. The reader purpose perspective is recommended to guide the new test design for a number of reasons. At the same time, the reader purpose perspective is seen to be compatible with both the processing perspective and the task perspective. Four purposes for reading in the academic context are identified: reading to find information, reading for basic comprehension, reading to learn, and reading to integrate information across multiple texts. These four reading purposes are seen to form a natural hierarchy that can serve as a basis for describing a continuum of reading proficiency. The first two purposes are addressed in the current TOEFL reading test format. The third and fourth purposes, reading to learn and reading to integrate information across multiple texts, would expand the construct being measured. Some tasks that might be used to assess reading for different purposes are described. Finally, technological issues specific to the delivery of the reading test are described, and a detailed research agenda related to the reading construct described in this document is provided.

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