About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4993-4999
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

EVALUATION OF THE B1 ENGLISH LEVEL AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: APPLICATION OF THE OXFORD ONLINE PLACEMENT TEST TO THE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN THE PRE-SERVICE TEACHER SCHOOL OF VALENCIA

A. Gómez-López, J.R. Insa, M.D. Garcia-Pastor

University of Valencia (SPAIN)
New university degrees require a B1 level in a foreign language, according to the European Space for Higher Education. This is causing universities new problems: a) To assess the L2 level of many students in an accurate and reliable way; b) To meet the training necessities of those students who are just below this level. The first problem may be solved with instruments such as the Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT), which has been used to measure the English levels by the Pre-service Teacher School of Valencia. This paper shows the results these students obtained.

The OOPT consists of two main parts: the ‘Use of English’ part, designed to measure students’ grammatical and semantic knowledge and the ‘Listening’ part in which students’ aural comprehension is evaluated. The OOPT is an adaptative test, i.e. the test adapts its corpus of questions or items to the student´s level shown in the first 8 questions proposed. Thus, the score is calculated according to the degree of difficulty of the questions the student is able to answer correctly, at least 50% of them.

The sample was composed of 741 first year pre-service teacher training students. The results showed that 50% of these university students were below the corresponding European B1 level. It is not easy to know what the differences among students having different scores are due to the adaptive nature of the OOPT. Therefore, a case study was performed and a comparison was made between students whose score was just below the B1 level (30 points) and those whose score was within the level (45 points) in order to know which types of difficulties prevented students from achieving the European B1 level. The main differences between these two groups of students are:
-Vocabulary: the student should know some compound nouns and idioms, the most common phrasal verbs (i.e. look after, turn off, give up, etc), prepositions and prepositional phrases, adjectives and adjective phrases (‘worried about’).
-Grammar: the student should improve the use of the verbal tenses and modal verbs, some phrasal verbs, comparison and some clauses.
-Morphology: the student should know the use of pronouns and its reference, modal verbs, impersonal sentences, comparison, question tags, conditional sentences, the passive voice, the reported speech, the adverbs and adverbial phrases (for example, ‘any longer’, ‘up to now’).
-Syntax: the student should know the main forms of textual cohesion, such as the logic connectors, conjunctions (‘although’, ‘unless’) and relative clauses (‘whose’).
-Semantics: a student with a level of B1 is able to understand implied meanings within or beyond the text. Furthermore, the student is able to understand intended or communicative meanings, such as suggestion, warning, reasoning, agreement or disagreement, wishes, etc.

Hence the Pre-service School of Valencia has an emergent problem, which is to cope with more than 300 students with English training necessities a year. The OOPT allows teachers to assess the English level of a great quantity of students in a short time. It is reliable and easy to use. However, it does not offer information about the training necessities of students. Therefore, it is difficult to apply it as an instrument for formative evaluation. As university teachers we need not only practical instruments of evaluation, but devices which allow us to know the students’ difficulties using a language.
@InProceedings{GOMEZLOPEZ2010EVA,
author = {G{\'{o}}mez-L{\'{o}}pez, A. and Insa, J.R. and Garcia-Pastor, M.D.},
title = {EVALUATION OF THE B1 ENGLISH LEVEL AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: APPLICATION OF THE OXFORD ONLINE PLACEMENT TEST TO THE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN THE PRE-SERVICE TEACHER SCHOOL OF VALENCIA},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4993-4999}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Gómez-López AU - J.R. Insa AU - M.D. Garcia-Pastor
TI - EVALUATION OF THE B1 ENGLISH LEVEL AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: APPLICATION OF THE OXFORD ONLINE PLACEMENT TEST TO THE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN THE PRE-SERVICE TEACHER SCHOOL OF VALENCIA
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 4993
EP - 4999
ER -
A. Gómez-López, J.R. Insa, M.D. Garcia-Pastor (2010) EVALUATION OF THE B1 ENGLISH LEVEL AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: APPLICATION OF THE OXFORD ONLINE PLACEMENT TEST TO THE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN THE PRE-SERVICE TEACHER SCHOOL OF VALENCIA, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 4993-4999.
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