• Project dates: 2012
  • Funding: Educational Testing Service: TOEFL Committee of Examiners grants

This study investigates the relationship between performances on the speaking component of the TOEFL iBTTM with performances on academic oral assessment tasks. For the academic tasks, we recorded and transcribed the performances of five local and five high-achieving international undergraduate students on oral assessment tasks in core first-year subjects in three faculties, a total of thirty students. For the TOEFL speaking tasks, we transcribed the performances of six high scoring students from mixed language backgrounds on the two independent and four integrated speaking tasks of the TOEFL iBTTM. On the basis of an analysis of the rhetorical moves characteristic of the two speaking contexts, we conclude that while the moves characteristic of the TOEFL tasks are largely represented in the academic tasks, there are also some differences across the two contexts. These findings both support and challenge the domain definition inference of the TOEFL iBTTM validity argument.

Key People

Lead researchers

Dr Anamaria Ducasse

Dr Anamaria Ducasse

Senior Lecturer, Spanish Studies, Global, Urban and Social Studies

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Associate Professor Anne Brown

Associate Professor Anne Brown

Principal Research Fellow, Global, Urban and Social Studies

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  • Australian Council of Educational Research, La Trobe (Ethics and participants), RMIT

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