1st Edition

Building a Validity Argument for the Test of English as a Foreign Language™

ISBN 9780805854565
Published December 25, 2007 by Routledge
14 Pages

USD $64.95

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Book Description

The Test of English as a Foreign Language ™ (TOEFL®) is used by more
universities worldwide than any other test to assess English language
proficiency for academic admission and placement decisions, and to guide
English language instruction.

This landmark volume provides a detailed description and analysis of Educational Testing Service’s research and development efforts to develop a major revision of the TOEFL® test. The result is a book that serves as a case study of test design drawing upon theory in the complex domain of English language proficiency while attempting to meet standards of educational measurement.

Building a Validity Argument for the Test of English as a Foreign Language™ is distinctive in its attempt to develop a coherent story of the rationale for a test or its revision, explain the research and development process, and provide the results of the validation process. Through its treatment of one test, it expands on and tests principles and approaches to educational measurement, providing an in-depth, integrated perspective on the overall process of test revision. Moreover, because the conceptual foundation and history are presented alongside the empirical studies and validity argument, these sometimes disparate areas are presented in a way that demonstrates their connections – an approach which represents a departure from, or extension of, conventional materials on test revision.

This volume is particularly relevant for professionals and graduate students in educational measurement, applied linguistics, and second language acquisition as well as anyone interested in assessment issues.

Table of Contents



List of Contributors

Chapter 1. Test Score Interpretation and Use

Carol A. Chapelle, Mary K. Enright, and Joan M. Jamieson

Chapter 2. The Evolution of the TOEFL

Carol A. Taylor and Paul Angelis

Chapter 3. Frameworks for a New TOEFL

Joan M. Jamieson, Daniel Eignor, William Grabe, and Antony John Kunnan

Chapter 4 .Prototyping New Assessment Tasks

Mary K. Enright, Brent Bridgeman, Daniel Eignor, Robert N. Kantor, Pamela Mollaun, Susan Nissan, Donald E. Powers, and Mary Schedl

Chapter 5 Prototyping Measures of Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing

Mary K. Enright, Brent Bridgeman, Daniel Eignor, Yong-Won Lee, and Donald E. Powers

Chapter 6. Prototyping a New Test

Kristen Huff, Donald E. Powers, Robert N. Kantor, Pamela Mollaun, Susan Nissan, and Mary Schedl

Chapter 7. Finalizing the Test Blueprint

Mari Pearlman

Chapter 8. A Final Analysis

Lin Wang, Daniel Eignor, and Mary K. Enright

Chapter 9. The TOEFL Validity Argument

Carol A. Chapelle

Appendix A. 1995 Working Assumptions That Underlie an Initial TOEFL 2000 Design Framework

Appendix B. Summary of 1995 Research Recommendations

Appendix C. Timeline of TOEFL Origins and the New TOEFL Project—Key Efforts and Decisions

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Carol A. Chapelle, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Mary K. Enright, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey

Joan M. Jamieson, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona


"… makes a significant contribution to the field of language assessment by bringing together in one volume all of the excellent work that has gone into the revision of one of the world’s most influential tests. A welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in assessment issues, both in the U.S. and internationally."
--Sarah Cushing Weigle, Georgia State University, U.S.

"… a unique and important contribution to the fields of educational measurement, applied linguistics, and language testing, Most of what one finds in the professional literature in terms of validation work involves research and analyses of data gathered from the use of an instrument that is already ‘live.’ What makes this volume so interesting and unique is that it offers measurement experts and language testers insights into how construct theory – in this case foreign/second language proficiency – and validity arguments come together to drive the test development process."
--Micheline Chaloub-Deville, University of Iowa, U.S.