New TOEFL for schoolchildren

An ETS official talks about the agency’s objectives for the recently-launched test for students aged 11 to 14

education Updated: Nov 18, 2010 10:47 IST
Horizons Correspondent
Horizons Correspondent
Hindustan Times

What prompted ETS to launch the TOEFL Junior test? What is the purpose/objective behind it?
Students around the world are studying English at younger ages. TOEFL Junior, a low stakes assessment, was created to help 11- to 14-year-olds who are studying English as a foreign language. The purpose of the assessment is to measure listening and reading ability as well as knowledge of language form and meaning.

Other than finding out where the student stands in “listening and reading ability as well as knowledge of language form and meaning”, what will s/he gain from taking the test? How will the assessment benefit students?
The paper-based TOEFL Junior contains three sections: listening comprehension – a student’s ability to listen for basic, interpersonal purposes, ability to listen for instructional purposes, and the ability to listen for academic purposes); reading comprehension -- a student’s ability to read and comprehend academic texts and ability to read and comprehend non-academic texts); and language form and meaning – a student's the ability to demonstrate proficiency in key enabling skills such as grammar and vocabulary in context. TOEFL Junior measures the degree to which younger students are progressing in learning English and to serve the language learning needs of students in the above-mentioned age group.

Will it be given to a school as a client or do individual students take it as they do the university-level TOEFL? What is the response in India? Have any schools/students signed up? Any pre-launch activities planned in India?
The global, low-stakes assessment will be used by students, teachers, administrators, and parents around the world for objective information about English language skill to support placement decisions after admission into a school.

What’s the fee for one TOEFL Junior test?
The first TOEFL Junior was administered in Korea last month. Additional administrations in other countries will follow. At this time, TOEFL Junior is not available in India, but we will be sure to let you know when it is available and the associated costs.

First Published: Nov 10, 2010 12:03 IST