ERIC Number: ED423242
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Validity of the English Language Proficiency Test.
Bridgeman, Brent; Harvey, Anne
The English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) is a multiple-choice examination that is designed to assess the test taker's ability to use English in day-to-day interactions involving listening and reading. It is intended primarily as an admissions and placement test for college students with English as a second language. The ELPT consists of subtests for listening skills and reading skills. Research generally supporting the validity of the ELPT was reviewed, and the external aspects of construct validity were studied with a special data collection and analyses. One set of analyses addressed the relationship of proficiency ratings as made by the ELPT to proficiency ratings made by students' teachers using the same scale descriptors. The second set of analyses investigated the relationship of ELPT scores to college grades assigned in English as a second language courses, regular English classes, and/or freshman grade point average (GPA). Two samples were used, one of 412 high school students from 32 classes and 24 schools and the other of 190 college students from 15 classes over 10 colleges. In the college sample, ELPT reading standard scores correlated 0.50 with teacher ratings of reading proficiency and 0.48 with teachers' relative rankings of reading competence. In the high school sample, comparable correlations were 0.68 and 0.69. In the college sample, the correlation for listening scores was 0.57 with teacher ratings of proficiency and 0.56 with teachers' rankings. In the high school sample, these ratings were 0.71 and 0.67 respectively. For the 2 colleges for which GPA was available, the reading correlation was 0.53 for 1 college, and 0.05 for the other (perhaps a function of small sample size and relatively high reading scores). Results for the listening scale also suggest that the kinds of language skills assessed by the ELPT play some role in overall academic success, but are hardly deterministic of success or failure. Yet to be investigated is whether the absence of writing or speaking components of the ELPT is important in assessing the usefulness of the measure. An appendix defines the reading and listening proficiency scales. (Contains eight tables and two references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a symposium on Issues in Developing and Administering a Test of English Language Proficiency at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (San Diego, CA, April 12-16, 1998).