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Spiros Papageorgiou University of Michigan

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1 Spiros Papageorgiou University of Michigan
Using the Common European Framework of Reference to Report Language Test Scores Spiros Papageorgiou University of Michigan

2 Overview The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
The Manual for relating language examinations to the CEFR Standard setting An example of a CEFR standard setting study in Colombia

3 The CEFR Reference document—not prescriptive
Basis for the elaboration of language syllabi, curricula, examinations, and textbooks Language objectives: Description of what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication Six main levels of proficiency: A1 (lowest), A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 (highest)

4 The Manual for Relating Examinations to the CEFR
It aims to “help the providers of examinations to develop, apply and report transparent, practical procedures in a cumulative process of continuing improvement in order to situate their examination(s) in relation to the Common European Framework” (p. 1).

5 Stages for Relating Test Content and Test Scores to the CEFR
Familiarization Specification Standardization training and benchmarking Standard setting Validation

6 Standard Setting The decision making process of classifying examination results in a number of successive levels Performance Level Descriptions (PLD): statements describing what learners can do with language (e.g., CEFR descriptors) Performance Level Labels (PLL): labels of PLD (e.g., A1–C2) Cut scores: the boundary between two successive levels Participation of expert judges (panelists)

7 PLL PLD C2 Can write clear, smoothly flowing, complex texts in an appropriate and effective style and a logical structure which helps the reader to find significant points. C1 Can write clear, well-structured texts of complex subjects, underlining the relevant salient issues, expanding and supporting points of view at some length with subsidiary points, reasons and relevant examples, and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion. B2 Can write clear, detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to his field of interest, synthesising and evaluating information and arguments from a number of sources. B1 Can write straightforward connected texts on a range of familiar subjects within his field of interest, by linking a series of shorter discrete elements into a linear sequence. A2 Can write a series of simple phrases and sentences linked with simple connectors like “and”, “but” and “because”. A1 Can write simple isolated phrases and sentences.

8 An Example of a Standard Setting Study in Colombia
Reporting scores for the Michigan English Test on the CEFR levels 13 participants from the 9 Binational centers in Colombia Familiarization with the CEFR Training with item difficulty (Pilot Form B) Angoff standard setting method First round of judgments Pilot Form A statistical information Second round of judgments

9 Standard Setting Validity Evidence
Procedural validity: examining whether the procedures followed were practical and implemented properly; that feedback given to the judges was effective; and that documentation was sufficiently compiled. Internal validity: addressing issues of accuracy and consistency of the standard setting results. External validation: collecting evidence from independent sources that support the outcome of the standard setting meeting.

10 The Familiarization Task
A1 = 1, A2 = 2, B1 = 3, B2 = 4, C1 = 5, C2 = 6

11 Procedural Validity: Internalization of the CEFR
Correlation of descriptor level judgments with the CEFR during the Familiarization stage Descriptors J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 J9 J10 J11 J12 J13 Listening .85 .89 .80 .81 .71 .77 .79 .88 .70 .91 .84 Reading .92 .86 .69 .82 .62 .90 Vocabulary .93 .96 .76 .73 .97 Grammar .94 .87 .95 .78

12 Internal Validity: Method Consistency
Standard error of judgments should be ≤ ½ of the standard error of the test (Section I 1.71 and Section II 1.74 ) Cut score SEj incl. extreme ratings SEj excl. extreme ratings Section I B1 1.97 1.57 Section I B2 1.34 Section I C1 1.69 Section II B1 2.00 1.71 Section II B2 2.30 1.62 Section II C1 2.57

13 Internal Validity: Decision Consistency
Calculating agreement coefficient rho (p0; max .98) and kappa (k; max 71) Cut score p0 k Section I B1 .90 .68 Section I B2 .88 .70 Section I C1 .97 .61 Section II B1 .95 .64 Section II B2 .86 .71 Section II C1 .94 .65

14 Internal Validity: Intra-judge Consistency
Correlation of mean of judgments with empirical item difficulty MET section/round of judgments Correlation Section I, Round 1 .42 Section I, Round 2 .83 Section II, Round 1 .73 Section II, Round 2 .92 We based the final decision on the round 2 judgments

15 Internal Validity: Inter-judge Consistency
Indices of agreement and consistency Index Section I Section II ICC .94 W .80 .76 Alpha

16 External Validity: Reasonableness of the Cut Scores
Classification of Pilot Form A test takers (N = 660) into CEFR levels Level Section I Section II A2 105 (15.91%) 55 (8.33%) B1 408 (61.81%) 323 (48.94%) B2 95 (14.39%) 214 (32.43%) C1 52 (7.88%) 68 (10.30%)

17 External Validity: Comparison of Level Classifications
Exact and adjacent level agreement of classifications (N = 302) provided by a test center and the cut score Agreement Section I Section II Exact level 122 (40.40%) 92 (30.46%) Within 1 level 290 (96.03%) 264 (87.42%)

18 Final Stage Before Reporting Test Scores: Equating
A statistical procedure used to allow for comparisons of scores obtained on different test forms Adjustment of differences in test form difficulty (but not content) Scaled scores, not percentages Examinee position on the language ability scale Scores are comparable across different administrations Linked to the CEFR cut scores

19 Reported Scores Both section scores should be taken into account when interpreting the test results for use in decision-making CEFR Level MET Section I scores MET Section II scores C1 64 and above B2 53–63 B1 40–52 A2 39 or below

20 For more information visit

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