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ERIC Number: EJ876394
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
Exploring the Utility of a Web-Based English Language Screening Tool
Elder, Cathie; von Randow, Janet
Language Assessment Quarterly, v5 n3 p173-194 2008
This article describes the process of developing and implementing a quick Web-based screening test designed for the purpose of identifying, within a large, culturally diverse population of undergraduates enrolled at an English-medium university, those students unlikely to require English language support during their 1st year of academic study. Linguistically competent students (including native speakers) scoring above a certain threshold on the screening test are exempt from sitting a more time-consuming diagnostic English language needs assessment. Before implementing the procedure, which had been pretested on a population of 100 students, 353 test-takers took both the screening and accompanying diagnostic instrument so that an optimum cut-score could be set at a point which minimized unnecessary testing of linguistically able students and which captured the maximum number of "at-risk" students. Five years after the test was launched, the overall utility of the screening tool was reviewed. Findings of the original validation efforts show that the screening tool (if appropriately used) provides a valid, practical, and ethical (nondiscriminatory) means whereby students with limited academic language skills can be targeted for further diagnosis and intervention. The article argues that the assessment program has been successful in raising consciousness among the university community of the language needs of the student population and in stimulating action to address these needs. (Contains 7 footnotes, 10 tables, and 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand