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Exploring the Alignment Between a Curriculum and a Test for Young Learners of English as a Foreign Language EFL TOEFL CEFR ETS

Papageorgiou, Spiros; Xu, Xiaoqui; Timpe-Laughlin, Veronika; Dugdale, Deborah M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Online Learning, Listening, Reading, Curriculum Alignment, Assessment, TOEFL Primary, United States, China, Elementary School Students, Middle School Students, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Speaking, Student Performance, Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), Educational Testing Service (ETS)


The purpose of this study is to examine the appropriateness of using the TOEFL Primary tests to evaluate the language abilities of students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) through an online-delivered curriculum, the VIPKid Major Course (MC). Data include student test scores on the TOEFL Primary Listening and Reading tests and expert judgments on the degree of alignment between the content of the tests and the learning activities included in VIPKid MC Levels 3–7. Analysis of the score data suggested that the TOEFL Primary Reading and Listening tests are, in general, at the appropriate level of difficulty for MC students. Additionally, the TOEFL Primary test score data indicated an increase in language proficiency across the VIPKid MC levels. The content of the TOEFL Primary tests and the learning activities included in the MC curriculum were found to be largely aligned with each other. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this study, including (a) the use of EFL tests for young learners in general and (b) the use of the TOEFL Primary tests in the context of the VIPKid MC in particular.

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