To Develop an English Assessment Instrument for English Learners in Taiwan: Adopting Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF)[1]

Chuen-Teng Huang (黃春騰)

Department of English

National Changhua University of Education


The Ministry of Education in Taiwan made an announcement in June 2005 to all the institutions under its supervision to adopt Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF), developed by the Council of Europe, as the common framework for the English language learning, teaching and assessment in the future. Some local English testing institutions have since started to modify or simply equate their testing systems to this framework. To meet with the local need of an English testing system corresponding to this framework, half a year before the announcement, a nonprofit institution, namely National Development Initiatives Institute (NDI), had already launched a research project leading toward the development of such a system. At the initial stage of the project, the research team began with the need analysis, followed by the planning phase, design phase and the development phase. Then two pretests based on the A1 and A2 levels of the Framework were conducted. The pretests involved the total subjects of 7473 local high school English learners randomly selected from the schools nation-wide. The results of the pretests were analyzed and used for evaluating the instrument under development, and in turn, for NDI’s future item writing, banking and testing use. Based on the partial results of the project that has been completed, this workshop is to show and discuss the processes and results of adopting the concepts and adapting the illustrative scales of descriptors of the Framework to develop a standardized criterion-reference English test. The subtests to be discussed in the workshop will include four activities/modes of language, i.e., listening, speaking, reading and writing, on A1 and A2 levels. In addition to the question type of each subtest and the sample test items, the proficiency descriptors for each question type, and the guidelines for writing the items of each type of question will also be discussed.

[1] This paper was presented at the TELL Conference hosted by National Kaohsiung Normal University, April 21, 2006.

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