Volume 2, Issue 3  December 2019, pp. 135–154          Download PDF

Articles
Building a validity argument for the use of academic language tests for immigration purposes: Evidence from immigration-seeking test-takers

Ngoc Thi Huyen Hoang https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0146-29821

1 The University of Queensland, Australia huyenngochoang@gmail.com

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v2n3.148


Abstract

As validity pertains to test use rather than the test itself, using a test for unintended purposes requires a new validation program using additional evidence from relevant sources. This small-scale study contributes to the validation of the use of originally academic language tests-the International English Language Testing System and the Test of English as a Foreign Language-for assessing skilled immigration eligibility. Data were collected from 39 immigration-seeking test-takers, who are arguably under-represented in validation research. Analysis was informed by contemporary validity theory, which treats validity as a unitary concept incorporating score reliability, score interpretation, score-based decisions and their consequences. Results showed that the test-takers' perceptions varied widely. The evidence supporting this use included generally positive perceptions of the scores' reliability, washback effect, and fairness of score-based decisions. The refuting evidence concerned factors perceived to interfere with test-takers' performance and the complex consequences for the test-takers in aspects other than washback. However, overwhelmingly, as test-takers found the score-based decisions as fair, the validity judgement appeared tilted towards the positive side from the perspectives of these key stakeholders. Although the ultimate validity judgement requires the examination of evidence from other significant stakeholders as well, the present study has contributed valuable and unique evidence and bears important implications for research, practice, and policy particularly in high-stakes contexts such as immigration.



Copyright

© Ngoc Thi Huyen Hoang

CC  4.0
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Suggested citation

Hoang, N.T.H. (2019). Building a validity argument for the use of academic language tests for immigration purposes: Evidence from immigration-seeking test-takers. Language Education & Assessment, 2(3), 135–154. https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v2n3.148


Related Articles:

Intercultural education in times of restricted travel: Lessons from the Gaza Strip
Maria Grazia Imperiale
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 19 April, 2021, Volume 4(1), 22–38. Download PDF

"I don't want to be stereotypical, but..." Norwegian EFL learners' awareness of and willingness to challenge visual stereotypes
Cecilie Waallann Brown
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 20 December, 2019, Volume 2(3), 120–141. Download PDF

"Writing like a health scientist": A translingual approach to teaching text structure in a diverse Australian classroom
Sue Ollerhead, Isobel Crealy, Rebecca Kirk
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 30 April, 2020, Volume 3(1), 77–90. Download PDF

(Mis)use of e-mail in student-faculty interaction: Implications for university instruction in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Japan
Anna Danielewicz-Betz
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 30 April, 2013, Volume 9(1), 23–57. Download PDF

(Re)imagining a course in language and intercultural communication for the 21st century
Adriana Raquel Diaz, Paul J. Moore
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 29 December, 2018, Volume 1(3), 83–99. Download PDF

3D digital games, virtual worlds, and language learning in higher education: Continuing challenges in Japan
Robert Swier, Mark Peterson
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2018, Volume 14(3), 225–238. Download PDF

A Case for the Drupal Content Management System
Paul Collett
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 30 April, 2010, Volume 6(1), 57–66. Download PDF

A case study of using Facebook in an EFL English writing class: The perspective of a writing teacher
Li-Tang Yu
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2014, Volume 10(3), 189–202. Download PDF

A comparative analysis of face to face instruction vs. Telegram mobile instruction in terms of narrative writing
Jamshid Heidari, Farzaneh Khodabandeh, Hassan Soleimani
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 August, 2018, Volume 14(2), 143–156. Download PDF

A comparison of computer-mediated peer corrective feedback between high and low-proficiency learners in a Japanese EFL writing classroom
Bradley D. F. Colpitts, Travis Hunter Past
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 August, 2019, Volume 15(2), 23–39. Download PDF