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The Redesigned TOEIC Bridge Tests: Relations to Test-Taker Perceptions of Proficiency in English

Author(s):
Schmidgall, Jonathan
Publication Year:
2020
Report Number:
RR-20-07
Source:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Research Report
Page Count:
27
Subject/Key Words:
Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) English Language Proficiency Japan Perceptions Score Interpretation Self-Assessment Self-Efficacy Taiwan Test Design Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) Test Takers Test Validation TOEIC Bridge Test

Abstract

This paper describes two studies that examined the relationship between redesigned TOEIC Bridge test scores and self-assessments of language proficiency. The results provide evidence to support claims that test scores are meaningful indicators of language proficiency, and that test scores can be used to meaningfully differentiate levels of language proficiency as defined by language proficiency standards such as the CEFR. The redesigned four-skills TOEIC Bridge tests were designed to measure the listening, reading, speaking, and writing proficiency of basic to intermediate English learners in the context of everyday life. In this paper, two studies were conducted to investigate claims about the meaningfulness of redesigned TOEIC Bridge test scores by comparing them to self-assessments of listening, reading, speaking, and writing proficiency. In Study 1, test takers who participated in the redesigned TOEIC Bridge field test in Japan and Taiwan completed an online self-assessment survey of their speaking and writing proficiency. In Study 2, test takers who participated in pretesting for the redesigned TOEIC Bridge Listening and Reading test in Japan and Taiwan completed a paper-based self-assessment survey of their listening and reading proficiency. Both studies were designed with the same research questions in mind in order to evaluate claims about the meaning of redesigned TOEIC Bridge test scores and to enhance the interpretation of test scores by relating them to test takers’ self-assessed ability to perform a variety of related tasks. The results indicated that self-assessments had medium correlations with redesigned TOEIC Bridge Listening test scores (r=.55), Reading test scores (r=.54), Speaking test scores (r=.51), and Writing test scores (r=.46). These results compare favorably with the results of similar studies of the relationship between test scores and self-assessments of language proficiency and provide evidence to support claims about the meaningfulness of redesigned TOEIC Bridge test scores. In addition, the pattern of results across redesigned TOEIC Bridge test proficiency levels and can-do statements taken from language proficiency standards suggests that the tests meaningfully differentiate test-takers’ proficiency levels, an important consideration of test design.

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