It was the most frequently chosen factor for both the choice and the no-choice groups. The present study represents an important contribution to dis- cussions of the use of choice in language testing because it is designed in a manner that allows for the investigation of the effect of choice without the interference of a task effect. This Downloaded from http: The writing prompt is given to students at the beginning of the test. Alberta Journal of Educational Research 33, 96— It is quite possible that test-takers do not view the inclusion of information beyond what is presented in the test as an appropriate test strategy. When test-takers arrived for the test they were randomly divided into two groups using their test registration numbers.

Research indi- cates that this process leads to a consistent application of the essay scoring criterion. Our challenge was to create relatively brief descriptions that would be comprehensible to the ESL test-taker while still providing enough information to enable the test- taker to make an informed choice. The intermediate proficiency category Downloaded from http: Test-takers in the no-choice group were escorted to a separate room where they wrote the a priori test. These studies quite clearly do not advocate the use of choice in testing.

Monday, March 11th, The identification of topic as the second most important factor occurred with essentially the same frequency for test-takers in the choice and no-choice groups. Further research investigating esssay impact of choice on tests of language proficiency for second lang- uage learners must be conducted in order to fully understand the implications of these choice patterns.

Indeed, both Gee and Fitzpa- trick and Yen commented that the structuring and order of the topic statements from which the students made their choices might have influenced the organization and development of the essays.

Sample Writing Test Question for the Exam with Comments

Usu- ally students do not have a choice of topic for the test they write. The topic-based Downloaded from http: To what extent do test-takers perceive choice to be an important part of the testing experience? In the instructions it is suggested that they write at least one page of text. Otherwise, the test is more a measure of prior knowledge than a meas- ure cqel the wider construct of language proficiency.


CAEL Assessment

Students at the intermediate proficiency level may also qualify to get a university credit for their ESL course. Students are aware of the essay that they will have to write throughout the test.

cael essay sample

The inter- rater reliability of the reading scoring process is monitored. While some tests measure language proficiency using a series of independent discrete-point items i. Numerous articles have been published which examine the psycho- metric samlle of tests which allow choice. Topic-based tests such as the CAEL must demonstrate that the context provided by the test materials reduces the impact of prior knowledge to the point of insignificance. For example, the use of domain of study or declared subject major is problematic particularly for undergraduate students who may have had relatively little exposure to the test topic depending on the specific courses which have been taken and the content of those courses.

The CAEL Assessment Writing Test – Sample Essays

If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. This Downloaded from http: Ezsay to making their choice, the test-takers had been asked to indicate their preferences for each of 20 possible topics from which their top- ics would be drawn.

Through the use of choice, this study has allowed for a consideration of xael elements of the topic effect. Comments on section II: Table 4 lists the frequencies for the overall proficiency levels for the choice and no-choice groups. These five factors reflect comments frequently observed by test administrators over the year history of the CAEL Assessment. This writer discusses IQ measurement in other studies, specifically referring to studies done with chimpanzees. Since choice is a critical element of the design of this study, a brief review of the literature on the use of choice in the contexts of both learning and testing is provided before describing the study.


The potential benefits of offering choice in second language testing essag merit further investigation of this important testing procedure. Each set of reading responses is marked by one rater. Shohamy their performance. The lectures, readings and tasks for each version of the test are all related to a single topic and are drawn from first-year university courses at times when professors are introducing new information to students on the assumption that the students know little or nothing about the topic.

cael essay sample

The second research question is to determine the extent to which test- takers perceive choice to be an important part of the testing experi- ence. Help Center Find cqel research papers in: Modern Language Journal 75, 39— An investigation of background knowledge in the assessment of language proficiency.

However, the potential impact of prior knowledge would be substan- tial for topic-based tests of language proficiency because all of the items are concerned with one topic. Test-takers ranged in age from 15 to 52 years Downloaded from http: It is not a summation of the components of the test but a figure that is determined by an experienced placement team which considers the profile of each test-taker.