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 and Assessment, 2(3), 135–154. https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v2n3.148


Related Articles:

Beginning again
Glenn Stockwell
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 1 April, 2018, Volume 1(1), 1–2. Download PDF


Insights from replication on the factors affecting task engagement in mobile-based learning activities
Glenn Stockwell
Technology in Language Teaching and Learning Published: 28 June, 2019, Volume 1(1), 33–51. Download PDF


Syntactical and lexical development in NNS-NNS Asynchronous CMC
Glenn Stockwell
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2005, Volume 1(3), 33–49. Download PDF


Investigating an intelligent system for vocabulary learning through reading
Glenn Stockwell
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2013, Volume 9(3), 259–274. Download PDF


Review of Developing writing skills for IELTS: A research-based approach
Hassan Mohebbi
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 28 April, 2021, Volume 4(1), 34–36. Download PDF


Making global knowledge accessible to EFL speakers of an undergraduate leadership program through a flipped and ubiquitous learning environment
Nobue Tanaka-Ellis, Sachiyo Sekiguchi
Technology in Language Teaching and Learning Published: 28 June, 2019, Volume 1(1), 3–20. Download PDF


Encouraging autonomy through the use of a social networking system
Adrian Leis
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 30 April, 2014, Volume 10(1), 69–80. Download PDF


Exploring EFL teachers’ professional identity development in a CALL teacher preparation program
Hussein Meihami, Rajab Esfandiari
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 25 August, 2021, Volume 17(2), 135–157. Download PDF


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


Reframing and hospicing mobility in higher education: Challenges and possibilities
Adriana Raquel Díaz, Marisa Cordella, Samantha Dispray, Barbara E. Hanna, Anna Mikhaylova
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 19 April, 2021, Volume 4(1), 106–121. Download PDF