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:

"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), pp. 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), pp. 77–90. 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), pp. 83–99. Download PDF

A day in the life: Mapping international students' language learning environments in multilingual Sydney
Phil Benson, Philip Chappell, Lynda Yates
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 1 April, 2018, Volume 1(1), pp. 20–32. Download PDF

A developmental framework for online language teaching skills
Ursula Stickler, Regine Hampel, Martina Emke
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 30 April, 2020, Volume 3(1), pp. 133–151. Download PDF

A systematic review of written corrective feedback research in ESL/EFL contexts
Sin Wang Chong
Language Education & Assessment Published: 31 August, 2019, Volume 2(2), pp. 57–69. Download PDF

Adopting a dual focus to drive forward the fields of language education and language assessment
Heng-Tsung Danny Huang
Language Education & Assessment Published: 25 July, 2018, Volume 1(1), pp. 1–2. Download PDF

Advancing intercultural learning in world language education: Recent developments in pre-service teacher education in the U.S.
Paula Garrett-Rucks
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 29 December, 2018, Volume 1(3), pp. 110–122. Download PDF

An essay on internationalism in foreign language education
Michael Byram
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 22 August, 2018, Volume 1(2), pp. 64–82. Download PDF

An investigation of implicit vs. explicit oral corrective feedback on Chinese pupils' use of past tense
Qin Xie, Chingyee Yeung
Language Education & Assessment Published: 29 November, 2018, Volume 1(2), pp. 59–75. Download PDF