Comparability of Students’ Writing Performance on TOEFL-iBT and Required University Writing Courses


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Presented at: LTRC 2016

Although studies have been conducted to validate the writing tasks on various versions of the TOEFL, none have explored the comparability of students’ performance on TOEFL writing tasks and actual academic writing tasks. Investigating this comparability is essential for providing backing for the extrapolation inference in the TOEFL validity argument (Chapelle, Enright and Jamieson, 2011).

Our study begins to fill this gap by comparing 100 international nonnative-English-speaking undergraduate students’ performance on two TOEFL iBT® writing tasks and their performance on two writing tasks assigned in required writing classes in U.S. universities. We examined comparability of student performance across TOEFL and classroom writing tasks in terms of scores on various dimensions of writing quality as defined and measured by an analytic rubric.