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Linking TOEFL iBT® writing rubrics to CEFR levels: Cut scores and validity evidence from a standard setting study.
J. Fleckenstein, S. Keller, M. Krüger, R. J. Tannenbaum, O. Köller

Linking TOEFL iBT® writing rubrics to CEFR levels: Cut scores and validity evidence from a standard setting study.

Assessing Writing. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2019.100420

English writing is a key competence for higher education success. However, research on the assessment of writing skills in English as a foreign language in European upper secondary education (i.e. beyond year 9) remains scarce. The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) describes language proficiency on a scale of six ascending levels (A1-C2). For writing skills at the end of secondary education in Europe, the common standard is vantage level B2. In this study, experts from Germany and Switzerland linked upper secondary students’ writing profiles elicited in a constructed response test (integrated and independent essays from the TOEFL iBT®) to CEFR levels. Standard setting methodology (a modified examinee paper selection/performance profile approach) was used to establish the linkages. The study reports the methodology and procedure of the standard setting process and discusses the procedural and internal validity of resulting cut scores. It also applies the cut scores to a large sample of upper secondary students in Germany and Switzerland to gain evidence for external and consequential validity.