Creativity, Dynamics, Best Practice
Edited By Carmen Argondizzo
Assessing language proficiency: comparing in-house language exams with international certifications
Abstract: The aim of this chapter is to illustrate the results of an investigation into the extent to which the CEF level awarded to students who had taken an in-house language exam at the Language Center of the University of Calabria (Italy) correlates with the level awarded to these same students by Cambridge ESOL (now Cambridge English Language Assessment). The participants in this study had just completed an EFL course at the University Language Centre as part of a language project funded by Regione Calabria ‒ Progetto ClaC. The ClaC courses were offered to undergraduate and graduate students as well as primary and secondary school teachers, and ranged from an A1 to a C2 level in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference. The aim of the project was to help participants improve their linguistic competences while becoming more familiar with the specialized language typical of their field of study and/or work.
The chapter begins by outlining the content and format of the in-house final exams administered at the end of the ClaC courses. These final exams, which consisted of both a written and an oral component, were graded so as to allow examiners to evaluate each student’s abilities and award an appropriate CEF level. Priority was given to integrative testing, including reading comprehension, text analysis, note taking and the writing of short texts (essays, letters, emails). The core of the chapter illustrates the results of the quantitative analyses conducted to determine whether there was a...
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