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Evaluating the TOEFL Junior Standard Test as a Measure of Progress for Young English Language Learners TOEFL

Gu, Lin; Lockwood, J. R.; Powers, Donald E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
English Language Proficiency, Growth, Longitudinal, Hierarchical Linear Models, TOEFL Junior


Because most students were actively participating in English language learning programs, the time interval between test administrations, which varied among students, served as a proxy for the extent of English language learning opportunities. We used hierarchical linear models to model growth in test performance as a function of the time interval between test administrations and found a positive, statistically significant relationship; that is, test takers with longer intervals between retesting exhibited greater gains than did test takers who retested at shorter intervals. The estimated relationship for the total score corresponded to between .16 and .24 test standard deviations of growth per year, depending on model specification. The findings are robust to sensitivity analyses that explore potential biasing factors. Overall, the findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the TOEFL Junior Standard test is capable of reflecting change in English language proficiency over time.

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