TOEIC/LPI Relationships in Academic and Employment Contexts in Thailand

Wilson, Kenneth M.; Komarakul Na Nagara, Supalak; Woodhead, Robert
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TOEIC language proficiency interview gender differences native Thai speakers ESL speaking proficiency


The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC®) is an ETS-developed measure of proficiency in English as a second language (ESL) or foreign language (EFL), designed to assess aspects of English language listening comprehension (LC) and reading comprehension (RC). In general samples of native speakers of Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, and Arabic, respectively, scores on the TOEIC have been found to be strongly related to performance on the language proficiency interview (LPI) procedure, a widely recognized direct measure of speaking proficiency. In this exploratory study, TOEIC/LPI relationships in subgroups (e.g., by gender, educational level, organizational setting at time of assessment) were assessed within a general national/linguistic sample?native speakers of Thai who are involved in operational assessments under the aegis of the TOEIC representative agency in Thailand, the Center for Professional Assessment. Observed relationships were relatively strong and positive in the total sample and within each of the subgroups studied. Observed coefficients were noticeably larger in subgroups of females than in corresponding subgroups of males and for a sample of university students than for examinees tested in places of employment. Means of observed LPI rating for the respective subgroups were consistent with expectations based on TOEIC scores. Further research is needed to assess the extent to which the subgroup findings may tend to be generalizable in the Center (Thailand) context or elsewhere.

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