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An analysis of the evolution of the IELTS test and an investigation of its face validity


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Thiel, Teresa 1995 , 'An analysis of the evolution of the IELTS test and an investigation of its face validity', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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First, the purpose of this study was to analyse the evolution of the International English
Language Testing System (IELTS), an internationally recognized language proficiency test,
within the context of developments in language proficiency testing in the last decade.
Approaches to the validation of language proficiency tests are discussed with particular
reference to face val.idity and washback validity. Second, the purpose of this study was to
determine the face validity of the IEL TS test from an investigation into international students'
perceptions of the test. To these ends, a questionnaire was administered at the University of
Tasmania to international students (n=40) who had taken an IELTS test. A focus group
interview was also conducted with students who had taken both the IELTS test and the Test
of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). It was found that the IELTS test generally had
high face validity amongst the sample of international students in this study. Positive
washback effects appeared to reinforce the face validity of the IELTS. Test preparation was
perceived to be relevant to the target situation of academic study. It was also found that an
English language proficiency score of IELTS Band 6 may be an unrealistic minimum entry
level in meeting the linguistic demands of some courses of study at the University of
Tasmania. Tentative conclusions from this study suggest that both the overall band score and
the diagnostic profile of IELTS test results should be examined carefully when admitting
international students to tertiary institutions. In addition, there are also non-linguistic factors
which can affect the potential academic success of international students. Recommendations
concerning the key role of English language support and study skills courses conclude this

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Thiel, Teresa
Keywords: International English Language Testing System, English language, English language, English language, College students
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1995 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s)

Additional Information:

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 117-129). Thesis (M.Ed.)--University of Tasmania at Launceston, 1995

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