Bristol Conversations in Education - The Common European Framework of Reference and English Language Tests used for University Admissions
Helen Wodehouse Lecture Theatre, School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA
This event is part of the School of Education's 'Bristol Conversations in Education' seminar series.
Speaker: Tony Green
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is widely used in setting language proficiency requirements. When different language examinations have been related to the CEFR, this is claimed to help score users, such as university admissions staff, to compare and evaluate the suitability of these examinations as tools for selection (Council of Europe 2009). I will look at the linking claims made for four internationally recognised tests of English widely employed in university admissions (iBT TOEFL. IELTS, PTE Academic and Cambridge English: Advanced). Using the Council of Europe’s (2009) suggested stages of specification, standard setting, and empirical validation, I consider how far the CEFR has fulfilled its objective to, ‘facilitate comparisons between different systems of qualifications’ (Council of Europe 2001, p.21). In the light of the findings, I will suggest whether and how the CEFR can guide the development and use of tests of academic language abilities.