The Sequence of Modules: A Facet in Language Proficiency Testing

Hesamoddin Shahriari Ahmadi, Yesim Ozek, Elif Demirel


Given the widespread application of language proficiency examinations and their gate-keeping function, it is of utmost importance for researchers and test developers alike to identify and eliminate any facet of these tests which could be a potential source of invalidity or unreliability. One such facet is the sequence through which the four language skills are presented to the applicants. The present body of literature indicates that there has been no investigation into the order of skills in language proficiency tests. What is more, two established language proficiency tests, namely the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) present their skills in different sequences. This study sets out to determine whether altering the sequence of two skills on a language proficiency test (in this case, the IELTS) would result in any difference in applicants' performance on each individual skills. To this end, 120 learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) were asked to take part in two consecutive administrations of the IELTS, each time with a different sequence. The findings revealed that although intermediate and advanced learners performed equally well on both administrations, there was a significant difference in the performance of elementary learners across tests.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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