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Placement test for higher ed ESL

  • 1.  Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 12-12-2018 12:58

    Hi,

    I'm the sole ESL faculty at a community college with a high international student ELL population and a domestic ELL population as well. Most of the international students arrive on campus just a few days before classes start and need to be tested and placed very quickly. I am currently in my second year at this institution, and I'm working to establish a testing policy for incoming ELLs. The school uses ACCUPLACER as a placement test for all in-coming students, so last year we tried to use the ACCUPLACER ESL for the ELLs. The exam uses its own scale with very vague descriptors, and we found it difficult to place students accurately.

    What placement test would you recommend that tests writing, listening, and reading that is taken on a computer and can give results almost immediately? I would prefer something that aligns with CEFR or TOEFL. 

    Thank you very much, 



    ------------------------------
    Theresa A. Orlovsky, M.A
    ESL/Spanish Faculty
    Marshalltown Community College
    Marshalltown,IA USA
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  • 2.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 13-12-2018 16:15
    You may want to contact the EFL program at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh NC. Be aware that NC community colleges distinguish between adult basic skills, which they call ESL, and academic courses for non-native speakers, which they call EFL. I'm not sure the current policy, but Wake Tech has used Accuplacer ESL for its EFL course placement.
    www.waketech.edu




  • 3.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 14-12-2018 01:33
    Greetings.

    Not considering budget (around $205 per student and only on specific locations, not in-house), there is the TOEFL iBT (writing, listening, reading ok). Results are usually available at or under 10 days after the test. I would consider the test quite reliable. A couple of years ago I did a run with it and the results where within expectations. 

    There are also COMPASS and ASSET, but for your requirements, they would only measure reading and writing. I don't know much about them, but you might want to research more. 

    Lastly, there is the one from Duolingo, it's slowly growing in popularity. It's about $49 per test and may be done in-house at your college, also you can ask for a demo here:

    Takes no more than 48 hrs for the results. On that note, they have a handy conversion tab so you can check/compare between TOEFL and CEFR:

    Good luck.


    Jorge Córdova
    Translation & Design Services









  • 4.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 17-12-2018 14:16
    To add to your travails, I believe that ACT has gotten out of the placement testing business, meaning that COMPASS-ESL (which I assume you were referring to) is sadly no longer on the market.

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    David Ross
    Associate Chair, ESL/Intensive English
    Houston Community College
    Houston, TX
    david.ross@hccs.edu
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  • 5.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 17-12-2018 15:15
    We use the Michigan EPT. It's only $6 per test, takes one hour, and results are immediate.
    https://michiganassessment.org/institutions/products-services/placement-progress/camla-ept/

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    Meghann Perry
    Asst. Director of IEP
    D'Youville College
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  • 6.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 30 days ago
    Is the Michigan EPT the same as the MET? Is it taken on a computer or on paper?

    Thanks again,

    ------------------------------
    Theresa A. Orlovsky, M.A
    ESL/Spanish Faculty
    Marshalltown Community College
    Marshalltown,IA USA
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 19-12-2018 02:05
    We use the Michigan Test and we added a writing section.

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    Sharla Jones
    Professor
    San Antonio College
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  • 8.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 07-01-2019 16:22
    Hello Theresa and all,

    At College of DuPage, we have been in a search of a placement test that fits many of the criteria that you mentioned, Theresa.  Our search has led us to pilot the Kaplan International Tools for English (KITE), which has been written about in previous posts as being adaptive and having Speaking and Writing sections that are hand-scored (Reading/Listening/Grammar results are immediate.)  The down side is that the hand scoring means that it is a good deal more expensive than Accuplacer; on the other hand, you get an assessment of more skills.  So they're definitely not equivalent.  https://takekite.com/

    I hope this helps.


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    Dana Horstein
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  • 9.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 08-01-2019 20:11
    Dear Theresa,
    I have looked at Duolingo's placement testing and it is done via computer. It seems worthy for what you are looking for. I looked at it last year to use possibly with an institution I created curriculum for. We have not used it yet, so I can't tell you my or our personal experience. Let me know what you think, if you explore this option.

    Thank you,
    Lisa

    ------------------------------
    Lisa Baldwin
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  • 10.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 26-12-2018 01:46
    I do not know the price, but the Aptis placement test (British Council) is used at the university where I work in Saudi Arabia and we feel that the CEFR results it gives are accurate.  The test takes 2-3 hours and the results come back in about 3 days, sometimes sooner.

    I'd appreciate it if you could share any suggestions you receive privately with the group as we are always looking to improve.

    Best regards,

    Deborah Abbott

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    Deborah Abbott
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  • 11.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 30 days ago

    Hi Deborah,

    Here is a response I received via email:

    Good morning Theresa,

    I hope the new year is starting well for you.

    I am the program manager for the English Language Institute at the University of Texas at El Paso.

    I used an in house test, which was marked by teachers for the speaking and writing and the other test we used scantrons.
    It was very time consuming and have switched to the Pearson Versant English Placement Test. 

    The cost was $19 per test and it is linked to the CEFR. The link is - https://www.versanttests.com/ samples/englishplacement 

    I work with Mr. Steven - steven.chiu@pearson.com

    Thank you

    ------------------------------
    Sam Parthiban
    Program Manager - English Language Institute 
    (915)747-8043
    gparthiban@utep.edu
    The University of Texas at El Paso
    USA
    Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ ELIP3UTEP/



    ------------------------------
    Theresa A. Orlovsky, M.A
    ESL/Spanish Faculty
    Marshalltown Community College
    Marshalltown,IA USA
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  • 12.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 30 days ago

    I was also sent this message via LinkedIn:

    Dear Theresa,

    Hello! I was forwarded your post about looking for a placement/assessment test so I just sent you an email with information about our iTEP test. I wanted to connect on here as well so that you see we are legitimate and serious about great ESL testing!

    Cheers, Jim B. iTEP Midwest

    Here is Jim's page

    (I searched both both my email inboxes and couldn't find Jim's email, but I'll contact him if need be)



    ------------------------------
    Theresa A. Orlovsky, M.A
    ESL/Spanish Faculty
    Marshalltown Community College
    Marshalltown,IA USA
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  • 13.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 28-12-2018 06:21
    Hi
    I'd suggest the oxford placement test at https://www.oxfordenglishtesting.com. It's a pretty accurate test which gives the results instantly. You get a score and it is aligned to the CEFR. It can be used for British or American English. Check it out.

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    Muhammad Jalalkhan
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  • 14.  RE: Placement test for higher ed ESL

    Posted 30 days ago

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you all for your wonderful responses! They are incredibly helpful.

    I plan to make a list of all suggested exams with their pros and cons in order to narrow down which one is right for our program.

    Thank you again,



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    Theresa A. Orlovsky, M.A
    ESL/Spanish Faculty
    Marshalltown Community College
    Marshalltown,IA USA
    ------------------------------