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English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

  • 1.  English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hello fellow TESOL members,

    For some reason this won't post for me in Program Administration, so apologies if this ends up in the wrong place. I have been a silent member until now, but this unique situation of everything going online for the foreseeable future leaves me with more questions than I can figure out efficiently. As you probably already know, this Week TOEFL and IELTS made the announcement that their spring exam dates are canceled. Which leaves our University scrambling to look at all Online options.

    I was given the directive to make multiple online platforms available so that applicants can more easily apply to multiple schools, including our own. Currently we are set up with E3PT, iELTS and Duolingo. Does anyone have feedback on any of these platforms?

    Additionally, has anyone used EduSynch? This one is new to me.

    Thanks!

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Wingate
    ESL Coordinator
    South Dakota State Univ
    United States
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 13 days ago
    Dear Dr Wingate

    I noticed your comments regarding testing and would like to make one offer that might or might not be interesting.

    I am a Canadian, IELTS Examiner in Bangkok Thailand with both Skype and Zoom.

    Perhaps for a small fee, say 20 USD, I, and if need be others also qualified here, could give your candidates a mock exam following the procedures in place and that we know so well.

    We would not be able to mention that we are IELTS Examiners, the British Council forbids this, but any candidate who has taken the test would know we know what we are doing.

    With a screen shot of the candidate we could verify their identity. 

    We could work out the admin but with Zoom, it would be easy.

    Just an idea, but if interested, please let me know.

    Yours truly

    Tim Cornwall, PhD





  • 3.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi there,
    Wondering if you saw this recently from ETS:
     https://www.ets.org/toefl/important_update/

    I guess there is an at home TOEFL they are offering?

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Brondell
    Director
    English Language Programs
    Clemson University
    jbronde@clemson.edu
    [864-656-3209]
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 12 days ago
    Thanks for this, I was under the impression that TOEFL iBT for home was only available in the following countries: United States, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong (China) and Macau (China). In your link it still says limited areas, so I suspect it's still the case, but we shall see....Thanks for your input though. Anything helps in this chaos!

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Wingate
    ESL Coordinator
    South Dakota State Univ
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 3 days ago
    Hi Jennifer,
    My admissions office just asked me about the Pearson's test VERSANT.  Does anyone know anything about that test?  From what I can see it does not look to be academic in nature, but given the circumstances...I mean if we are using Duolingo that is also not academic, in my opinion, then we might as well look at this one?

    If anyone has feedback about ersant please let me know.
    Thanks so much!
    Jen

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Brondell
    Director
    English Language Programs
    Clemson University
    jbronde@clemson.edu
    [864-656-3209]
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 3 days ago

    Aloha,

    We use the Michigan EPT. Since it doesn't have a digital version, we have been looking for an alternative. We've decided on the Oxford Placement Test, which we have used in the past as a pretest for short-term groups. It's much cheaper than Versant and does a okay job of discriminating at the lower levels, where the majority of our students place. For the upper levels, the scores are rather quirky. When we've retested students upon arrival, the C1 students scored at the B2 level. 

    Another test you might want to look at is the Cambridge Placement Test, which is a bit more expensive than the Oxford and has a reading section. However, it's only a 30-minute test, which doesn't feel right. Has anyone tried this one?




    ------------------------------
    Christine Guro
    Assistant Director
    Hawaii English Language Program
    cguro@hawaii.efu
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 3 days ago
    Hi Jennifer. My institution has used the Versant test as part of our placement and advancement decisions within our program. We use it as our speaking/listening test. It is pretty thorough in its speaking/listening evaluation of students. When we first started using it, we did the telephone call-in method for each student. For a while now, though, we have been using the computer version to test students. Each student tests in a room individually with an instructor present to get the test started and help with any technical difficulties, and each test lasts about 20 minutes. Our program directors haven't yet told us how we are going to test listening/speaking at the end of this term or for placement in summer term, so I"m not sure if we will try to use some version of Versant or not.

    ------------------------------
    Lisa Yabuki
    Dallas Baptist University
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  • 8.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted yesterday
    Thanks so much for this information, Lisa!

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Brondell
    Director
    English Language Programs
    Clemson University
    jbronde@clemson.edu
    [864-656-3209]
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: English Proficiency Assessment for Admissions

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi -

    I'm going to piggy-back onto your question as we, too, are facing this challenge. Our committee is looking primarily at E3PT and DuoLingo. I know that we must have something, yet I have reservations about both. I have heard that DuoLingo doesn't test academic English as well as other tests. I have not been able to get much feedback on E3PT, but I am concerned about their reliance on oral responses. I would like to hear the experiences that others have had with these two tests. I would also like to hear if there are other tests available to institutions use and are pleased with.



    Thank you.

    ------------------------------
    Deborah Pfeifer
    Instructor of ESL
    Fort Hays State University
    ------------------------------