Toepas test of oral english proficiency for academic staff
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TOEPAS: Test of Oral English Proficiency for Academic Staff. Pete Westbrook Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use (CIP) University of Copenhagen (KU), Denmark IATEFL Conference, Glasgow 21 st March 2012 [email protected] Danish Universities.

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TOEPAS: Test of Oral English Proficiency for Academic Staff

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Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

TOEPAS: Test of Oral English Proficiency for Academic Staff

  • Pete Westbrook

  • Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use (CIP)

  • University of Copenhagen (KU), Denmark

  • IATEFL Conference, Glasgow

  • 21st March 2012

  • [email protected]


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Danish Universities

>¼ of all study programmes in English


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

So we have:

Danish lecturer

“the chemical

formula for this

compound can thus

be found by

analysing...”

English Medium Instruction (EMI)

S T U D E N T S

NS Danish

NS Other

NS English

How do we know how the lecturers are coping?


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Outline

  • Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use (CIP)

  • Background to TOEPAS

  • Description of the test specifications

  • Formative aspects of the test

  • Summary


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

1. CIP

  • Parallel language use at KU:

  • “The use of parallel languages refers to a situation in which two languages are considered equal in a particular domain, and where the choice of language depends on what is deemed most appropriate and efficient in a specific situation. At the University of Copenhagen, the use of Danish and English is determined by the principles of parallel language use.”


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

  • CIP opened officially November 2008

  • 3 main areas:

    • language competence development

    • research

    • resource centre

  • Grown to around 16 staff


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

2. Background to TOEPAS

  • Test procedure for elite COME programmes

  • Purpose to assess COME teachers’ English language skills

    • High-stakes, specific test for university lecturers

  • Assessment should also provide information about any language training needed

    • Unique competence development tool


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

How TOEPAS was developed:


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

3. Description of test specificationsRating scales:

  • Global scale: 5 levels

    • Levels 3, 4, 5 = certified

    • Levels 1, 2 = not certified

  • Analytic scales of 5 criteria:

    • fluency

    • pronunciation

    • vocabulary

    • grammar

    • interaction


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Global rating scale:

  • 5: The lecturer has demonstrated English language proficiency for university teaching equivalent to that of a highly articulate, well-educated native speaker of English. The lecturer has been certified to teach English-medium courses. No training is required.

  • 4: The lecturer has demonstrated excellent English language proficiency for university teaching. The lecturer has been certified to teach English-medium courses. No training is required.

  • 3: The lecturer has demonstrated good English language proficiency for university teaching. The lecturer has been certified to teach English-medium courses. No training is required, but training may be beneficial in one or more of the assessed areas.

  • 2: The lecturer has demonstrated less than sufficient English language proficiency for university teaching. The lecturer has not been certified to teach English-medium courses. Training is required.

  • 1: The lecturer has demonstrated limited English language proficiency for university teaching. The lecturer has not been certified to teach English-medium courses. Significant training is required.


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Layout of certification room:

Examinee 3 – ‘graduate student’

Examiner B

And

as you can see on the...

screen

Table

Examinee 1 – ‘lecturer’

Video camera

Examinee 2 –

‘graduate student’

Examiner A


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Test procedure

  • Part 1: Warm up (not assessed)

  • 10 minutes as a group

  • Part 2: Mini-lecture (assessed)

  • 20 minutes each

  • Part 3: Question/answer session (assessed)

  • 5-7 minutes each

x3


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Assessment procedure

  • Examiners A & B:

    • take notes during test

    • assess and assign scores independently

    • discuss each examinee afterwards

  • 3rd examiner (C):

    • in cases of disagreement

    • all 2’s and 5’s

    • random selection for norming


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Results so far (March 2012):

Certified

Not certified


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

What happens if people are not certified?

  • CIP: no influence – up to own department

  • CIP can offer training


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

4. Formative aspects of the test

  • Detailed written feedback report

  • Option for oral feedback session

  • Access to the video recording

    • Clarification of result

    • Transparency

    • Training


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

Why formative aspects?

  • Stakeholders focus on need for language training as opposed to testing

  • ‘Exchange currency’

  • Strengthen:

    • validity

    • transparency

  • Matches CIP mission to be a competence development and research centre


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

5. Summary:

  • TOEPAS:

    • Specific test for academic staff

    • Formative aspects

      • an awareness-raising tool

      • a needs assessment

      • validity and transparency

    • Future tasks:

      • Expand test for rest of KU

      • Test validation


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

  • Thankyou

  • Any (more) questions?

  • Pete Westbrook: [email protected]


Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use

The TOEPAS rating scale and the CEFR

  • CEFR global scale parallels our 5 level global scale, but:

    • certification cut level is between B2 and C1

    • elements of B2 in our level 3

  • Target group more proficient CEFR

  • CEFR descriptors not nuanced enough


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