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ERIC Number: EJ914483
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
Designing and Scaling Level-Specific Writing Tasks in Alignment with the CEFR: A Test-Centered Approach
Harsch, Claudia; Rupp, Andre Alexander
Language Assessment Quarterly, v8 n1 p1-33 2011
The "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR; Council of Europe, 2001) provides a competency model that is increasingly used as a point of reference to compare language examinations. Nevertheless, aligning examinations to the CEFR proficiency levels remains a challenge. In this article, we propose a new, level-centered approach to designing and aligning writing tasks in line with the CEFR levels. Much work has been done on assessing writing via tasks spanning over several levels of proficiency but little research on a level-specific approach, where one task targets one specific proficiency level. In our study, situated in a large-scale assessment project where such a level-specific approach was employed, we investigate the influence of the design factors tasks, assessment criteria, raters, and student proficiency on the variability of ratings, using descriptive statistics, generalizability theory, and multifaceted Rasch modeling. Results show that the level-specific approach yields plausible inferences about task difficulty, rater harshness, rating criteria difficulty, and student distribution. Moreover, Rasch analyses show a high level of consistency between a priori task classifications in terms of CEFR levels and empirical task difficulty estimates. This allows for a test-centered approach to standard setting by suggesting empirically grounded cut-scores in line with the CEFR proficiency levels targeted by the tasks. (Contains 8 tables, 1 figure and 1 footnote.)
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: Grade 10; Grade 8; Grade 9; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany