Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.480860
Title: Identifying the language problems of overseas students in tertiary education in the United Kingdom
Author: Weir, Cyril J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1680 9849
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1984
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Abstract:
The research and development leading to the pre-test version of the Associated Examining Board's Test in English for Academic Purposes (T.E.A.P.) is described and discussed in this work. The aim of this test is to provide, by means of individual profiles of competence in reading comprehension, listening comprehension and writing, information on overseas students' understanding and use of written and spoken English in academic situations. This will help institutions to make decisions on acceptance or rejection and indicate whether or not remedial language tuition might be necessary. In the first part of this enquiry, the study levels, subject discipline areas and institutions where overseas students enrol in the further and higher education sectors in Britain are established and the problems overseas students encounter in these academic contexts are examined. Next the basic concepts of test construction are discussed and the relative merits of various approaches to language testing are compared in the light of these; particular attention being paid to the a priori validation of test tasks. The thesis details a methodological framework for establishing the specification of language tasks facing students at a variety of levels and in a variety of subject areas, together with the results of the investigations that were conducted. Two principal methods of data collection were employed in completing the specification; first bya series of observational visits to a variety of educational institutions and second by the circulation of a questionnaire to staff and students in a similar variety of educational institutions. A report is made on the extent of difficulty both overseas and British students encounter in coping with the tasks and attendant performance constraints in the academic contexts under review. The realisation of this specification in a test battery designed to assess students' ability to perform language tasks relevant to the academic context in which they have to operate is then described. This battery incorporated a variety of test formats of varying degrees of directness of fit to the specification outlined earlier. In this way it was hoped to establish the relative merits of various methods of assessing a student's performance on those tasks that the research indicated as important to overseas students following English—medium courses. The pre—test battery is tested on a sample of students drawn from the population of overseas students for whom the test is intended and on a control group of English native speakers. The results are used in the internal and external validation of the test. The way in which various validation procedures helped determine the final format of the Test in English for Academic Purposes (T.E.A.P.) is examined. The implications of the results are discussed and possible areas of further research are suggested at the end of the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.480860  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training Education Linguistics
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