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An Examination of United States Middle School Students' Performance on TOEFL Junior TOEFL ELL

Wolf, Mikyung Kim; Steinberg, Jonathan
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), TOEFL Junior, Percentile Rank, Smoothed Distributions, Native English Speakers, English Language Learners (ELL), Middle School Grades


The purpose of this study was to examine how native English-speaking and English language learner (ELL) students in U.S. schools perform on the TOEFL Junior test. Specifically, this study was designed to provide percentile rank information of the TOEFL Junior scores for both native English-speaking and ELL students who attend U.S. schools. As the TOEFL Junior test is intended to measure English language skills representative of English-medium instructional environments at the middle-school level, this study focused on students in Grades 6 to 8. The percentile rank and statistical significance test results indicated that there was a clear pattern of increasing performance of the sample students on the TOEFL Junior test by grade level. It should be noted that the students in this sample are not truly representative of all middle school students and that interpretations should be made with caution. Suggestions for future studies are included in this report.

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