ERIC Number: ED329595
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Reading Proficiency of Non-Native English Speaking Applicants to American Undergraduate Education: How Is It Assessed? How Should It Be Assessed? Qualifying Paper, Harvard University School of Education.
Abraham, Paul F.
English language assessment of non-native speakers of English (NNS) who apply for undergraduate study in the United States is examined. The analysis focuses on: the assessment of reading in light of its importance across the undergraduate curriculum, and the establishment of a base-line level of reading proficiency to which the proficiency of NNS can be compared. The paper addresses the following issues: the nature of college reading; current directions in reading assessment and the means by which these directions inform the assessment of applicants who are NNS; and the efficacy of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as a measure of linguistic proficiency and college-level reading. The TOEFL is compared with other test instruments, and empirical evidence on the predictive validity of the TOEFL is reviewed. Historical perspectives are provided for both the college-level reading curriculum and the TOEFL. Insights from the developmental and skilled reading perspectives are also outlined. Reading theory and assessment, the direction of large-scale reading assessment, and skilled reading and assessment are discussed. The unique contributions of each of the three sections of the TOEFL to assessment of language ability are described. Recommendations relative to the use of the TOEFL that are pertinent to admissions officers, researchers in second language reading, and undergraduate faculty who teach NNS are offered. A 130-item list of references is included. (TJH)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Test of English as a Foreign Language