Language Proficiency Assessment

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Background and Purpose Language proficiency is one of the most frequently discussed constructs in the field of second language acquisition because of the various ways it is investigated in SLA (Kim, Tracy–Ventura & Jung, 2016). Second language proficiency assessment is done for many purposes. Concerning educational settings, assessments are used to make decisions about students, to notify classroom teaching and learning, and to improve, ensure, and indicate the quality of an educational program (Norris, 2013). In regard to SLA research, assessments of L2 proficiency are essentially used for three purposes. First, assessments are employed to choose participants into a study (Norris & Ortega, 2012). Second, it is significant to incorporate a…show more content…
First, a question posed by several researchers (Hamayan, Saegert, & Larudee, 1977; McDade, Simpson, & Lamb, 1982) is whether EITs assess linguistic knowledge for the possibility that a subject could repeat what they hear without comprehending it. This concern is related to the issue of rote repetition or “parroting” (Vinther, 2002), which is a critical threat to construct validity because it proposes that EIT performance is mediated by memory span. Specifically, the format of an EIT might encourage a strong impact for Phonological Short-term Memory (an important element of WM capacity) instead of measuring language proficiency independently. Hence, whether EITs has a reconstructive nature (i.e., require test takers to process stimuli), or whether EITs admit to rote imitation are in dispute. One way to understand whether EITs are reconstructive is to test how much dependence or contribution of WM can be seen on EIT performance. In case of EITs being reconstructive, then they would require participants to do more than just storing linguistic stimuli temporarily in PSTM. In the other words, an additional component of WM would be involved, the central executive, which is involved in decoding the sentence stimuli, formulating the sentence, and then producing the repetition. Through a delayed imitation task…show more content…
Hulstijn’s (2007, 2011) definition of proficiency; “learners’ knowledge and automated ability for use of core vocabulary and grammar delivered with reasonably intelligible pronunciation and fluency” (p. 681). In this study, two tests are being adopted to measure learners’ language proficiency the EITs and the TOEFL IBT.

1.6. Limitations and Delimitations of the Study The most prominent limitations and delimitations of this study are:
1. The participants were required to take the EITs, but not in a fixed standard setting. As a means of motivation, participants were asked to take the tests in places they felt better off, mostly university classes or libraries, which in few cases caused them to take the tests for granted.
2. Few participants were removed from the data due to the fact, admitted by the subjects who didn’t complete the TOEFL IBT, that the test was beyond their patience.
3. Motivating a larger number of participants was not possible, due to the excessive cost of vouchers the researcher provided for the participants to take the TOEFL IBT test.
4. Participants were Iranian male and female learners and the results cannot be generalized to learners of other

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