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The TOEIC Speaking and Writing Tests: Relations to Test-Taker Perceptions of Proficiency in English

Powers, Donald E.; Kim, Hae-Jin; Yu, Feng; Weng, Vincent Z.; VanWinkle, Waverely Hester
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TOEIC Compendium
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Subject/Key Words:
Can-Do Statements English as a Foreign Language (EFL) English as a Second Language (ESL) English Language Proficiency English Language Skills Self-Assessment Speaking Skills Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) Test-Taker Performance Theories of Communicative Competence Validity Writing Skills


The current study provides evidence of the validity of the TOEIC Speaking and Writing tests’ scores by linking them to test takers’ assessments of their ability to perform a variety of everyday (often job-related) English-language activities. The practical implication of these linkages lies in their ability to facilitate the interpretation and use of the TOEIC scores. The results strongly suggest that the TOEIC Speaking and Writing tests’ scores can distinguish between test takers who are likely to be able to perform these tasks and those who are not. According to most conventional standards, the relationships that we detected are practically meaningful. To the degree that the language tasks studied here are important for success in a global business environment, using the TOEIC to recruit, hire or train prospective employees should be a beneficial business strategy. This paper is part of the Research Foundation for TOEIC: A Compendium of Studies, published by ETS in 2010.

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