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ERIC Number: EJ1003324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
The Decision-Making Process in Language Program Placement: Test and Nontest Factors Interacting in Context
Plakans, Lia; Burke, Maureen
Language Assessment Quarterly, v10 n2 p115-134 2013
The use of tests has been targeted as a critical point in validity, which suggests that contexts for test use warrant closer investigation. This article describes a study of decision making during test use in the context of a university intensive English language program. Over a period of 2 1/2 years, data were collected by audio-recording placement sessions in which the program director and an instructor made decisions based on a three-part placement exam, TOEFL scores, course grades, instructor evaluations, and other information. Analysis of the sessions revealed four major areas impacting test use and the decision-making process: (a) test performance and score factors, (b) student factors, (c) test user factors, and (d) program factors (i.e., number and size of levels, curriculum, textbooks). These four areas represent factors in the placement process that are clearly about tests (test performance and score) and factors that have less relation to tests or scores such as test users and programmatic factors. The test and nontest factors interacted in the placement process to navigate borderlines between levels, confirm placements, and adhere to programmatic constraints. (Contains 3 tables, 1 figure, and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A