Linking an English for Science and Technology Placement Test to the CEFR

Diane Pilkinton-Pihko, Anu Virkkunen-Fullenwider, Ari Huhta

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    Our presentation describes the design of a placement test for English at Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and addresses issues related to linking the test to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The test covers two skills areas: reading and speaking. The first pilot tests are being conducted in the academic year 2005-2006. Although this placement test is optional, students that pass can receive credit for their compulsory foreign language studies.

    Our paper will discuss in detail the steps we took to increase validity and reliability, e.g. developing a specification for the content, using pooled judgments to select content and to rate performances, basing judgments on specific defined (and possibly weighted) criteria, and checking the quality of the assessment by analyzing the assessment data.

    We will also report on how we have tried to face the challenge of exploring ways to link an English for science and technology test to CEFR, which is based on general language proficiency. In addition, we will report on our investigation into student attitudes towards the contents of the subtests and possible differences between teachers’ and students’ ratings on the difficulty of the tasks.We also welcome feedback from the audience on any aspect of our scientific endeavors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLanguage Centres at Universities: Crossing Bridges, Integrating Cultures : Papers from the 9th CercleS Conference Frankfurt (Oder), 28-30 September 2006
    EditorsThomas Vogel, Ray Satchell, Alzbeta Morazikova
    Number of pages18
    Place of PublicationFrankfurt (Oder)
    Publication date2008
    ISBN (Print)978-3-00-025322-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
    EventInternational CercleS Conference - Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
    Duration: 28 Sep 200630 Sep 2006
    Conference number: 9th

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