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LINGUIST List 18.689

Tue Mar 06 2007

Sum: Tests of English Language Proficiency

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>

To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
        1.    Yana Pugach, Tests of English Language Proficiency

Message 1: Tests of English Language Proficiency
Date: 04-Mar-2007
From: Yana Pugach <ypugachgc.cuny.edu>
Subject: Tests of English Language Proficiency

Query for this summary posted in LINGUIST Issue: 18.531

Regarding Query: http://linguistlist.org/issues/18/18-531.html#1

I would like to thank everyone who answered this query - I received many
helpful answers.

These are the tests that have been recommended by various people:

1) DIALANG test has been developed by the EU as a diagnostic tool in
various languages. It has 5 different tests (listening, reading, writing,
structures, vocabulary) and covers wide range of proficiency (and
languages). This is a free software, downloadable from:

A book in which DIALANG is presented: Alderson, J C ''Diagnosing foreign
language proficiency'' (2005, Continuum).

Recommended by Laurence White (Univ. of Reading), Armina Janyan (New
Bulgarian University), Pia Sundqvist (Karlstad University)

2) The FCE (First Certificate of English), CAE (Certificate of Advanced
English) and CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English).They are all
University of Cambridge exams and are usually seen as being more
comprehensive than the Michigan tests. They are arranged in 5 levels. The
FCE is the high-intermediate test, CAE advanced, and CPE near-native.

Recommended by Elisa Mattos, Rosemarie Connolly (Indiana University)

3) TOAL, the Test of Adolescent and Adult Language.

Recommended by Sylvia L. Reed (Univ. of Arizona)

4) The BYU WebCape ESL Test http://www.softstudy.com/products/CAPE.cfm
is adaptive, online, and usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes.

Recommended by Amanda Boomershine, Ph.D (Univ. of North Carolina Wilmington)

2. The BEST test of literacy.

Recommended by Amanda Boomershine, Ph.D (Univ. of North Carolina
Wilmington), Tara Gibbs (Univ. of Minnesota)

6) Oxford Placement Test has 2 parts (written & listening). It's done in
British English.

Recommended by Renita Silva (Univ. of Essex)

7) Schema-based cloze multiple choice item tests developed by Ebrahim
Khodadady (PhD). It measures language proficiency as an integrative
ability. The test does, however, have some items on grammar, though the
majority are based on the lexical items used in the reading passage upon
which they are constructed.

The test is available for everyone. You can find it in the appendix of this

Khodadady, E., & Herriman, M. (2000). Schemata Theory and Selected Response
Item Tests: From Theory to Practice. In A. J. Kunnan (Ed.), Fairness and
validation on language assessment (pp. 201-222). Cambridge: CUP.

Recommended by Ebrahim Khodadady, PhD (Welland Heritage Council and
Multicultural Center)

8) CELSA, Combined English Language Skills Assessment. It has a four-choice
multiple choice cloze format. It measures language skills, primarily
reading and grammar in a context and takes 15-45 minutes to complete,
depending on proficiency. It breaks participants into seven levels of


Recommended by Andrea Dallas (Univ. of Florida)

9) Cruz-Ferreira, M. (1989). A test for non-native comprehension of
intonation in English. International Review of Applied Linguistics in
Language Teaching 27(1): 23-39.

The paper presents a general test of intonational comprehension of English
that can be used by learners of any native language. The test consists of
several sentences of English spoken with particular intonation patterns of
tonality, tonicity and tone, conveying general or local meanings in
English. Three alternative interpretations are provided for each sentence,
the learner having to match each sentence with only one of the
interpretations. It is proposed that the test may be enlarged and/or
modified so as to be applicable in diagnosing and predicting difficulties
with the intonation of any L2, as well as providing insight into
particulars and universals of intonation.

Recommended by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira (National University of Singapore)

10) ACTFL OPI - oral language proficiency exam.

Recommended by Tara Gibbs (Univ. of Minnesota)

11) The MILAP which you may be able to get more cheaply for research purposes.

Recommended by Tara Gibbs (Univ. of Minnesota)

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
Language Acquisition
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