(May 31, 2011) - International Panel Links TOEFL® Junior™ Scores to Common European Framework
Princeton, N.J (May 31, 2011)
An international panel of distinguished English language experts has now matched scores from the TOEFL® Junior™ test, a global assessment of middle school-level English-language proficiency, to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The test was launched last fall in Korea and 25 other countries are administering it, or will be soon.
"The CEFR is widely
accepted as the European standard for describing levels of [English] language
proficiency," says Richard Tannenbaum, Director of Research in ETS's Research &
Development (R&D) division. "By mapping TOEFL Junior scores to this standard, we
not only make it easier for test takers and decision makers to understand what
the scores mean, but we also boost the credibility of the TOEFL Junior test
throughout Europe and other regions."
The TOEFL Junior
Benchmark Study took place in November in Paris. Led by Tannenbaum and Patricia
Baron, ETS Senior Research Project Manager, middle school English-language
educators from Greece, Poland, Egypt, Italy, Denmark, Jordan, Colombia, Brazil
and France recommended cut scores for the TOEFL Junior Listening Comprehension,
Language Form and Meaning, and Reading Comprehension sections that correspond to
the A2, B1 and B2 levels of the CEFR.
study is a transparent process," explains Baron. "The panel members' judgments
are the single most important factor in identifying the test scores that
correspond to each CEFR level. The panelists are trained in the standard-setting
process, practice making judgments, and then engage in multiple rounds of
judgments, with feedback and discussion between the rounds. Their input is
valued first and foremost."
Tannenbaum, the study's validity lies in the fact that a rigorous and systematic
standard-setting process was implemented and that the panelists had the
appropriate expertise, experience and diversity of perspectives.
Efforts to match
TOEFL Junior scores to standard measures started in 2010 and will continue
through 2011. In December, TOEFL Junior scores also were matched to Lexile®
measures, which allow test takers to use their scores to identify books at their