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ERIC Number: EJ1103326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0826-435X
Chinese Students' Perceptions of the Value of Test Preparation Courses for the TOEFL iBT: Merit, Worth, and Significance
Ma, Jia; Cheng, Liying
TESL Canada Journal, v33 n1 p58-79 2015
Test preparation for high-stakes English language tests has received increasing research attention in the language assessment field; however, little is known about what aspects of test preparation students attend to and value. In this study, we considered the perspectives of 12 Chinese students who were enrolled in various academic programs in a Canadian university, and we examined their perceptions of the value of the TOEFL iBT test preparation courses they had taken prior to admission to that university. Drawing on Scriven's (1998, 2007) model, which conceptualizes value as merit, worth, and significance, the thematic findings that emerged from the interviews were triangulated with document analysis and revealed that the value of TOEFL iBT test preparation courses was attributed to (a) quality (merit), including teachers, instruction, and instructional content; (b) benefit (worth), such as efficiency and reorientation to the TOEFL iBT and English skills development; and (c) engagement and affective attainment (significance), in learning communities and sources of motivation. However, the perceived value varied among these students, and the factors related to such variability included both internal factors (e.g., students' motivations for taking test preparation courses) and external factors (e.g., limited time to prepare for the TOEFL iBT). Implications of the benefits are discussed within the context of Chinese students in the Canadian academic milieu.
TESL Canada Federation. 408-4370 Dominion Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 4L7, Canada. Tel: 604-298-0312; Fax: 604-298-0372; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Test of English as a Foreign Language
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A