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|Adult English learners' self-assessment of second languageproficiency : Contexts and conditions|
|Summary||This study explored the relationship between adult English-language learners' assessment of their own language proficiency on the English Ability Questionnaire and their performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). It also identifies variables associated with consistent or inconsistent comparisons between the English Ability Questionnaire (EAQ) and TOEFL.|
A total of one hundred and thirty ESL students enrolled in high-intermediate and advanced classes at a suburban community college in New York City participated in the study. The English Ability Questionnaire, a self-assessment instrument developed by Diane Strong-Krause (2000) evaluates learners' perceived ability to read, write, and listen in English. Students were also given the Language Learning Experience Questionnaire (LLEQ) adapted from Oxford's (1990) language learning strategies using a Likert-scale to further explore learners' perceptions. One week later TOEFL was administered to the same students to test their abilities in reading, writing, and listening. In order to clarify how learners arrived at assessing their own English language learning progress ten volunteers were invited to participate in an in-depth semi-structured one-on-one interview with open ended guided questions to probe more specifically the students' experiences and views of his/her successes and challenges in language learning.
A Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to measure the strength of the relationship between EAQ and TOEFL. Next the possible influence of selected "moderating" variables was considered.
The main effects of personal perception were entered in a hierarchical multiple regression analysis, followed by potential moderating variables (first language, attitudes, self-confidence).
The data that was collected and analyzed revealed that the three self-assessment variables are significantly correlated with each other with correlations ranging from low to moderate and that the three self-assessment variables correlate with the total TOEFL. The self-assessment of reading correlates positively with TOEFL reading. Further results indicated that TOEFL reading correlates with interactive strategies, analytical strategies and English input. The self-assessments account for 11.7% of the variability of the TOEFL score. Of the three self-assessment subscales the only one to make a unique contribution was the variable listening.
To what degree did English and good feelings, interactive strategies, analytical strategies and English input add to the relationship of the self-assessments and the TOEFL? The multiple correlation was .252 which is not statistically significant.
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