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Evaluating a Learning Tool for Young English Learners: The Case of the TOEFL Primary English Learning Center

Timpe-Laughlin, Veronika
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Elementary Education, English Language Learning (ELL), Young Children, Student Evaluation, Instructional Materials, English Learning Center (ELC)


To explore how the ELC is used and perceived by instructors and students, data were collected via online surveys and on-site interviews with both teachers and elementary-level students. The mainly qualitative analyses provided two key findings. First, the findings show that the ELC was used primarily outside EFL classrooms as a supplementary, self-access learning material. As such, it was perceived as a valuable learning tool for language practice, which additionally prepared students for the TOEFL Primary test. Second, responses provide preliminary evidence to support a number of claims Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Edusoft have made about the ELC. Moreover, some suggestions to enhance the ELC program are discussed in this report, as well as factors that should be considered in future materials evaluation research, especially in research with young ELLs.

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