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Standard BULATS

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Assessing the Validity Reliability of the Standard BULATS Exam Introduction The following presents a discussion of the standard BULATS BusinessLanguage Testing Service exam provided by Cambridge ESOL Examinations The test is described and how valid and reliable the test appears to be isdiscussed with illustrative examples from the test itself Specifically the following question will be addressed What is the validity andreliability of the standard BULATS exam for testing business Englishlanguage proficiency especially in the context of measuring theproficiency of non-native speaking

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The General English Proficiency Test. Is a new computer version of IELTS in which the listening, reading, and writing sections are administered on a computer. In the computer adaptive version of the test, the computer is used as a prompt to provide input and set the items, and then the test administrator simply enters the item score in the computer and the computer selects the following appropriate question for the examinee's determined level.Speaking Section Included in Computer Test Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The test provides information about the abilities of the test-taker regarding their ability to work in a global marketplace using Englisheffectively in a business context (Vancouver English Center, 2 1 ). While the BULATS is commonly used by employers for placement andassessment of employees, the main focus of this paper is on the use of theBULATS by foreign universitiesand/or students for assessment of English proficiency levels (particularlyrelated to business English), and whether the BULATS is a valid andreliable source of testing for suchpurpose. However, as noted the keyissues for business students and employees using this test, includeconsideration for reliability and validity issues related to Englishconstructs, business language familiarity, and computer familiarity.Student choice of test format would help eliminate the computer familiarityconcerns but the effect of English constructs and business languagefamiliarity remains unclear. Computer-based testing providesinformation that can be used to identify language skills and assist withthe language learning process, but they are also used as part of universityadmissions criteria which makes reliability and validity issues moreproblematic. For example, The Society for Testing EnglishProficiency (STEP) administers the BULATS Test Suite in Japan. can || | |argue a case confidently, justifying and making || | |points persuasively. The Speaking Test - an evaluation of speaking skills in a business context 5. . All test types are reported to be the same in value and quality(British Council, 2 1 ). ||A1 | -19 |Very limited command of a language, e.g. is a 75-item multiple-choice cloze test. 3 ). Most of these tests have been converted into acomputer-based test (CBT) and/or an Internet-based test (iBT). BULATS tests the level of communication skills present that are neededin business situations. ESOL examinations. Flexible test for business Spanish, French, English, and German. However, researchfindings also support the conclusion that this and other like tests may notaccurately assess language skills in all students and consideration forcomputer familiarity (if computer version is used) and English constructsand business language familiarity must be included in the interpretation offindings. . Changes in format and task types were madein the Reading and Language Knowledge section. Companies can use this testworldwide. The 15-2 minute test includes language use, listening, and reading and can be tailored according to the needs of the testing institution. Applied Linguistics, 26(3), 317.Shih, C. BULATS test specification: A guide for clients. Issues in testing business English. (2 1 ). There is a computer-based online test for all candidates, acomputer-based CD-ROM test for companies, organizations, and languagecenters, and a paper-based test for companies, organizations, and languagecenters. About BULATS, a brief overview of the exam. Assessing the Validity & Reliability of the Standard BULATS Exam Introduction The following presents a discussion of the standard BULATS (BusinessLanguage Testing Service) exam provided by Cambridge ESOL Examinations.The test is described and how valid and reliable the test appears to be isdiscussed with illustrative examples from the test itself. Thistest is used by employers and organizations that must assess languageability of employees or trainees. was originally designed to determine whether examinees were at the survival and pre-employment skill levels. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 51(5), 388-394.Ross, S. ReferencesBritish Council. With thisrevision, the length of the Listening section went from 3 to 5 minutesand two sections were revised. For example, the General English Proficiency Test is commonly usedto test students in Taiwan (Shih, 2 8). (2 9). Advice regarding strategies forlanguage testing is also provided. For the Writing test, twotrained language specialists assess outcomes. Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from, P. . BULATS Standard testreliability coefficients are as follows (Cambridge ESOL, 2 9):Table 2BLUATS Standard Test Reliability Coefficients|Standard test |Sample size |Listening |Reading and |Overall ||version | |reliability |Language |reliability || | | |Knowledge | || | | |reliability | ||EN21 |52 |.93 |.95 |.97 ||EN22 |468 |.92 |.92 |.96 ||EN23 |959 |.92 |.93 |.96 ||EN24 |1446 |.95 |.94 |.97 ||EN25 |789 |.91 |.92 |.95 | The BULATS Computer-based test is adaptive which means that itemsreceived are appropriate to the ability of the test candidate. . Examiner certification and training processesare also important to ensure test reliability. Findings showed that an analysis of growthcurves, added growth ratios, and covariate-adjusted gains revealed thatformative assessment practices led to skill-specific effects on languageproficiency growth. The number of items in thewhole test is adjusted for this correlation. An average of 7 validationstudies is conducted each year on existing or proposed exams for testdevelopment and production (Cambridge ESOL, 2 1 ). The test can be taken in ESL, Spanish, German, French, and Russian. These students were assessed with conventionalend-of-term summative assessments. BULATS. 2). However, BULATS is also used for learners taking a languagecourse or for those taking a business courses where foreign languageability is a course component (BULATS, 2 1 , p. BULATS. BULATS Test Formats BULATS provides a range of tests to include the following (BULATS,2 1 ): 1. Computer-based CD-ROM test - a fast, accurate test of listening and reading skills via a CD 3. Thestandard PBT tests listening, reading and language information (grammar andvocabulary) and includes separate tests writing and speaking. Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from Council. (2 8). Aquestionnaire was given to all TOEFL examinees, in 1996 and again in 1997to assess frequency of computer use, frequency of use of word processors,and frequency of use of the Internet. Although IELTS has both a general and academic versions, at this moment the only available version of CB IELTS is the academic one.Testing Platform Provides Oral Input Basic English Skills Test (BEST). Reliability reflects theaccuracy of the measurement of the test. The Modern Language Journal, 89(4), 5 3-528.Tedjasuksmana, H., & Yappy, S. Test types must be consideredregarding related disadvantages and advantages such as whether theassessment method accurately reflects skill levels and whether it increasesskill-specific language proficiency growth (Ross, 2 5). can || | |participate effectively in discussions and meetings.||B2 |6 -74 |Generally effective command of a language, e.g. Laborda (2 6) discussed the following standardized tests used toassess language:Tests With no Speaking Section ACT ESL Placement test. 8 ) was .46, and it is noteworthy that5 .4% of the 349 test-takers in this range failed to exhibit the businessEnglish writing skills expected of competent international businesspeopleas measured by the STEP BULATS. All languagespecialists and examiners are monitored to ensure that they meet acceptedstandards (Cambridge ESOL, 2 9). The BULATSSpeaking and Writing tests resemble tasks expected to perform in a businesssetting. About BULATS, a brief overview of the exam. A reliable test is able to rank-order candidates in a similar manner with repeated use of the test. In 2 2 the Standard test was revised. BULATS quick guide. The Combined English Language skills assessment in a Reading Context (CELSA). Thus, the test assesses listening, speaking,reading and writing in four different languages (English, French, Germanand Spanish). The Standard Test - a paper-based version of the computer test 4. Students may not be familiar or experienced with computersand this may affect their ability to use the test in a reliable manner. (2 9). Technology allows fora fast and efficient assessment of language skills but this presentsproblems with reliability and validity. . Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from 1).BULATS provides language assessment, results with interpretation, help withinterpretation, and advice to companies regarding language training andother language-related issues. Elderand Davies (2 6) reported on this disadvantage. The test is reliableand produces consistent and error-free test scores, and?it is considered avalid test instrument. Assessing English as a Lingua Franca. The test uses the traditional adaptive system in which each question is presented according to the results of previous questions. . There is an online version to increasethe convenience and ease of taking this exam. The Writing test includes writing a short message ofup to 6 words based on information provided and writing a letter of up to2 words based on instructions; total time is 45 minutes (Sprachenshop,2 1 , p. Validity of the BULATS The validity of a test ensures that it measures what it is supposed toassess. This test demonstrates its utility relatedto its stated purposes of assessing language ability in a business setting. . may know || | |some phrases but cannot communicate well. Therefore the discussion focuses on the standard paper-basedtest form as the main source of analysis for validity and reliability ofthe BULATS. Language Assessment Quarterly, 5(1), 63.Sprachenshop. For this study, Ross (2 5) included four early cohorts in a 32 -hour,four-semester EFL program. As in some of the tests above, the listening and reading sections are rated automatically while the writing section is rated by IELTS examiners in the same manner as the paper-based version. Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from Specifications-a-Guide-for-Client-June 9.pdfCambridge ESOL. Foreign language reading and study abroad: Cross- cultural and cross-linguistic questions. Thus, this and like tests may not provide equal value for all studentssince Englishes vary. The language use section of BEST Literacy is taken with pen and paper while the oral section of the BEST Plus test is held in front of a test administrator who uses the computer as input for the test. Standardized Language Tests Most foreign students who seek to enter a U.S. 3 ).Dooey stated that to deal with this dilemma, test-takers should be offereda choice regarding test medium to enhance test reliability. Retrieved March 11, 2 1 from 8/HTML/Hirai1.htmLaborda, J. CELSA is used to evaluate grammar and reading at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. This test is typically used to test language skills ofemployees that need to use a language other than their own in their workenvironment. Formative assessment in language education policies: Emerging lessons from Wales and Scotland. The writing module has a double correction system: automatic computer-based and human. The objective of the test is to determine whether the taker will be able to function in routine situations. For the purpose of this paper, adiscussion of the validity and reliability of both test forms (PBT and CBT)as well as the separate speaking and writing tests, is beyond the scope ofthis paper. . (2 8). Cambridge ESOL ensures that the quality of the test is maintainedwith regular monitoring of the candidate s and their performance.Revisions are made to ensure that the exam is fair, accurate, and useful.Ongoing projects related to BULATS ensure its validity (Cambridge ESOL,2 9). Dooey (2 8) noted that withthe increased need to test for English language proficiency and theaccompanying need to use standardized tests for this purpose, comes theincreased use of technology to address these issues. BULATS scores are interpreted in the table below as follows(BULATS, 2 1 ):Table 1BLUATS Score Interpretations |Council |BULATS |Can Dos ||of Europe| | ||C2 |9 -1 |Fully operational command of the language e.g. Studies of the relationship between receptiveskill test scores and productive skill test scores is lacking. Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from ESOL. . The BULATS has items that are specifically related to business. Utility of the BULATS The utility of the BULATS has been established. A study wasconducted to determine computer familiarity with regard to the TOEFL. can || | |make a contribution to meetings but unlikely to || | |follow complex arguments. 1). The test takes from 5 to 2 minutes and . (2 1 ). A higher correlationcoefficient indicates a more reliable test but it is expected that areliable test ranges in coefficients between .6 and .95. BEST has since changed its form. However,the number of studies conducted to validate the BULATS is unclear andLaborda (2 6) reported that there is actually few validity studies relatedto the computer version of this test. BULATS FAQ. Thus, asplit-half method such as the Chronback's Alpha cannot be used. To further address these concerns, Hirai (2 8) analyzed the resultsof STEP BULATS Writing Tests administered to a group of 559 Japanese(predominantly businesspeople) from September 2 4 to December 2 7 andfound the correlation coefficient between their scores and the TOEIC scoresto be .69 for the entire score range. (2 8). Thus,it is expected that a reliable measure will yield the same score in twodifferent versions of the same test or in the Standard and computer-basedtests (Cambridge ESOL, 2 9). . The correlation coefficient for theupper end of the range (TOEIC ? The BULATS Standard test waslaunched in 1997, the Speaking and Writing tests became available in 1998,and the Computer-based test was available in 1999 (first trail in Englishtool place in 1998). The test isconsidered a reliable and valid instrument with high levels of utility.However, some regard the test as less reliable and valid since it is basedon constructs within the English language despite efforts to accommodatethe test for different populations and it may assess business languagefamiliarity rather than language proficiency. Effects of reading on academic outcomes varied acrossthese groups. In summary, the standard BULATS (Business Language Testing Service)exam provided by Cambridge ESOL Examinations is a test designed to assessEnglish language proficiency in a business-based context. Laborda (2 6) stated thatstudents from almost every country take high-stakes tests such as theInternational English Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a ForeignLanguage (TOEFL), and Business Language Testing Service (BULATS). Computer Based IELTS (CB IELTS). Since students differ in their foreign language ability,standardized tests are used to assess these differences. . Somebelieve that there are minimal differences between a paper-and-pencil testand a computer-based test but anecdotal evidence from teachers at thePolytechnic University of Valencia shows that this is not true sincestudents vary in their computer skills. (2 5). Theresearchers concluded that "one quarter to one half of the students frommost regions of the world will likely need help learning how to use Englishword-processing programs and the Internet once they arrive at NorthAmerican colleges and universities" (p. Receptive skill tests must not be the only test used todetermine language ability related to an actual business situation. C. This does not meanthat the test is able to assess productive speaking and writing abilitiesor skills needed practical situations. Until recently this test could be obtained from Brigham Young University but now is run by SoftStudy, Inc. can understand and pass on simple || | |messages. However, O'Sullivan (2 6) pointed out that business languagetesting is specific since it is designed for business-related purposes.This author concluded that TOEIC as a business English test is too generalto be described as such. Assessment of language policies must understand the effects of thistesting. 3 ) and the researchers recommendedthat teachers in EAP (English for Academic Purposes) programs need tocontinue to "assess, rather than assume, the computer familiarity of theirstudents" (p. This is a cost-effective method of assessing languageability complete with assessment of language and reading skills as well asgrammar and vocabulary knowledge. . The Writing Test - an evaluation of writing skills in a business context. However, the speaking sections are still conducted face-to-face. Still another issue related to the use of the BULATS or other tests offoreign language skills, is the amount of time spent on test preparation.Green (2 7) reported that test preparation classes are designed to providestudents with an advantage and improve their abilities and resulting testscores. Thus, assessment methods such as use of the BULATS andother standardized tests must be considered for their potential to includewhether or not they accurately measure language skill or whether theyincrease language proficiency. Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from www.bulats.orgCambridge ESOL. To investigate this notion Green studied score gains followingInternational English Language Testing System (IELTS) instruction toimprove test taking and outcomes. The questions include listening comprehension, reading, and language use. This study assessed attitudes of candidatesregarding the computer based IELTS and attitudes regarding a comparison ofPaper-Based (PB) and CB IELTS performance. Scores were compared across languagecourses for international students preparing for entry to UK universities.Findings showed that there was no advantage for this increased focus ontest preparation. | Validity and Reliability of the BULATS The following addresses the question: What is the validity andreliability of the standard BULATS exam for testing (business) Englishlanguage proficiency, especially in the context of measuring theproficiency of non-native speaking university students? Additionalproblems with all forms of these tests include issues related to thecommunities of language learners who must overcome a lack of knowledge ofthe Anglo-European culture since this culture underlies most of the tests.Language test preparation is needed and tests must be constructed to be ofinterest and relevance to test takers to make test taking easier since theease of test-taking affects outcomes (Laborda, 2 6). Different versions of the tests are equivalent. For example, increases were less for African students. Originally a variation of the COMPASS testing system. 1). This has also increased interest in Englishtests and in particular a test that assesses business English abilities.This test must align with the objectives of the business and the test mustdemonstrate its construct and content validity. . Ultimately, thegoal is to explain how this would apply to the context of measuring thebusiness English proficiency of non-native speaking (NNS) Japaneseuniversity students who major in business at a university in Japan whereEnglish is studied as a foreign language. There are multiple standardized tests used to assess these Englishskills. New items arepretested with anchor items and the sample is representative of the BULATScandidate population. The writing examiners gothrough a training program to ensure their ability and thy must re-certifyevery two years. (2 1 ). (2 1 ). In sometests such as the TOEFL, four skills are found in the iBT TOEFL, but onlythe least communicative sections are computerized with the BULATS. Further, it is concluded that use of this test must beconsidered by educators and policy makers for its effect on collegeadmissions, language instruction, and outcomes such as language proficiencygrowth. In addition, Laborada (2 6) noted that there are factors such asstudent ability to use computers that interfere with test validity. Conclusions Research findings support the conclusion that the BULATS has beenadequately proven to be a reliable and valid tool for measuring thebusiness English proficiency. Language Learning and Technology, 11(2), 3-9. Most institutions use it along with other spoken language tests. ||A2 |2 -39 |Very limited command of a language in familiar || | |situations, e.g. to evaluate high school and university students. Thus, writing a report or providing a presentation are includedin these tasks (Cambridge ESOL, 2 9). On the Net introducing standardized EFL/ESL exams. || | |can participate in familiar topics and exchange || | |simple factual information. The computer-based test (CBT) assesses the same proficiency skills oflistening, reading and grammar, but uses adaptive testing techniques forevaluation. Additional issues include security concerns, technical devises neededto adapt tests, technical capability of students and problems withelectricity supply and Internet connection in some areas, and test featuresand design must be specifically designed for computers. Divergence and convergence, educating with integrity: Proceedings of the 7th annual JALT Pan-SIG conference. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 26, 282-3 4.Green, A. Problems with thereliability and validity of the test also arise when using the computer-based version. Input is elicited by multimedia prompts such as interviews, descriptions, and questions or other types of items. includes sections on language use, reading, and listening that can be used singly or in combination . Laborda (2 6) pointed out that issues related to the development,construct definitions, administration, scoring of standardized languagetests (SLTs) in general include issues of test item discrimination,reliability, and validity. Results are expressed in a manner thatlets internationally renowned organizations understand levels ofproficiency. ||C1 |75-89 |Good operational command of the language, e.g. Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from Hirai (2 8) stated that there is a lack of understanding regardingthe appropriate use of tests such as the BULATS to assess all languageabilities. (2 1 ). (2 6). Despite these potentialshortcomings, these tests are used widely by organizations worldwide and inparticular in Japan. . Testresults are obtained rapidly and are easy to interpret; help forinterpretation is provided if needed. J. However, issues related to use of these testswith computer or internet versions include problems with technical access.Additional problems include test items being tailored to computer platformsand unclear effects on test outcomes and language instruction needs. Kyoto, Japan: Doshisha University Shinmachi Campus. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.Pappamihiel, N., Nishimata, T., & Mihai, F. Thus, the test may beadequate for testing this population in general since it is designed to berelevant for business students in particular. (2 6). Oral examiners go through atraining program and are re-certified every two years. This test is also used by students andemployees in language courses or professional/business courses whereforeign language ability is a key element in the course (Cambridge ESOL,2 9). . The author attributes this relatively lowperformance in the STEP BULATS Writing Test primarily to a lack of exposureto business practice and vocabulary rather than other factors. The test isused in 3 countries (BULATS, 2 1 , p. N. Languageknowledge instead of language use is tested. Hirai stated that thewidespread use of tests fails to consider that some such as the TOEICmeasure only receptive reading and listening skills. . This is followed by conclusions. Computer-based online test - a fast, accurate test of listening and reading skills online 2. . Procedures that Iwould use to establish its validity and reliability are noted (to becarried out after this research paper). Formerly ESL-Computerized Adaptive Placement Exam, developed by the Humanities Research Center, Brigham Young University, is a low-stakes exam usually used in commercial hiring. Scores of the candidate are based on a scale of 1 to 1 andcan be used according to Cambridge ESOL qualifications and frameworks thatare nationally and internationally recognized (Sprachenshop, 2 1 , p. This process results in apossible shorter time needed to take the CBT with an instant return of thetest and interpretation outcomes (Sprachenshop, 2 1 , p. . Reliability of the BULATS For a test to be valid it must be reliable. This correlation coefficient is used toshow whether a candidates scores from one half of the test correlate totheir scores for the other half of the test. university must show arequired degree of English language proficiency(Pappamihiel, Nishimata, & Mihai, 2 8). Another issue related to the use of the BULATS is the problems oftransitioning into a new technological era. Listening and reading, as well as language use, follow the traditional models of computer adaptive tests. (2 6). The Raschreliability is used and measures ability estimates of the candidate.Findings show that reliability of the overall test is .94. Varieties of World Englishes such as IndianEnglish or Singapore English are not considered in tests such as the TOEFL. domains assessed using real-life communication tasks . Ross sought to determine differencesin differential language learning growth outcomes related to the twoprocedures. . The BULATS is acclaimed to provide useful,reliable, and relevant language information related to the work context.The test administration is suited to the needs of the company. The paper makes a brief mention of skills tested by the CBTand the separate speaking and writing tests that are graded moresubjectively by different objective raters. Language testing and technology: problems of transition to a new era. Elder and Davies (2 6) stated that these tests are designed to assessEnglish proficiency but they are based on a model that assumes the useEnglish varieties based on Standard English rather than multipleunderstandings of English. Leung and Scott (2 9) stated that assessment is an issue forpolicymakers in educational jurisdictions. K@ta, 8(1), 51-59, 64-67.University of Cambridge. The Speaking test has three parts: answering a question about theself, work, and interests, presenting a topic of choice, and role-playingrelated to the topic. Cronbach's Alpha is used to measure errorand consistency of test scores. Ross reportedthat there are traditional and alternative assessment procedures being usedto assess foreign language abilities. Language Assessment Quarterly, 3(4), 333-368.Hirai, M. The IELTS is the preeminent English Language Proficiency test used byBritish universities and the TOEFL is the main test used by Americanuniversities as a placement test for pre-admission English programsdesigned to help foreign students improve their English before attendingregular university courses. (2 9). Specifically,the following question will be addressed: What is the validity andreliability of the standard BULATS exam for testing (business) Englishlanguage proficiency, especially in the context of measuring theproficiency of non-native speaking university students? Changes in tasks ensuredmeasurement characteristics were improved and validity and fairness issueswere accounted for (Cambridge ESOL, 2 9). While test accommodations may includemodifications designed to allow the test to be delivered worldwide, theconstructs are not changed. Retrieved, March 11, 2 1 from, C., & Scott, C. The test is given in more than one language (French, Spanish, German,and English) and it is designed for companies, students, language centers,and organizations. These and otherproblems may be due to the test being based on the English language. Dooey (2 8) also reported findings from another study which includedthe use of a questionnaire that was given along with the Computer-BasedIELTS (CB IELTS) trial. This test may not indicate the degree that aperson can communicate in English in the global workplace. However, these factorstend to be overlooked by employers using the test. The BULATS Exam (Overview) BULATS was developed by and is jointly run by Cambridge ESOL which ispart of Cambridge Assessment, the Alliance Francaise (France), Goethe-Institut (Germany), and the Universidad de Salamanca (Spain). F. The impact of assessment method on foreign language proficiency growth. Watching for washback: Observing the influence of the international English language testing system academic writing test in the classroom. Regarding the question of the validity and reliability of the standardBULATS exam for testing (business) English language proficiency, especiallyin the context of measuring the proficiency of non-native speakinguniversity students, again the issues of English context, businesslanguage, and computer familiarity are present. . Hirai (2 8) reported that more and more there is an increased need toimprove the English skills of corporate employees due to increasedglobalization of the economy. The test is customized since each question is selected basedon the previous answer and becomes progressively easier or more difficultuntil a consistent level of ability is achieved. Computer-based tests must have construct validity and this isin part based on computer familiarity of the student. Dooey (2 8) reported that increases in computer usage were noted inthe second assessment with particular increases in use of the Internet.However, this did not indicate that there was a high level of computerfamiliarity since access to technology was not evenly distributed acrosssub-groups. Since it is reliable and valid, it is concluded that universities andstudents should be able to rely on the test and test scores as a reliableand valid measure of business English proficiency. Both the Computer-based and Standard tests areequivalent with correlation coefficients ranging from .86 to .92 (CambridgeESOL, 2 9). The Educational Testing Service claims a high degree of correspondence between the two versions . (2 5). 1). Retrieved, March 15, 2 1 from www.CambridgeESOL.orgVancouver English Center. (2 6). Online BULATS course. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 29, 64-79.O'Sullivan, B. This test is also used determine language skills needed in thetraining and workplace situation or as a progress test monitoring languageimprovement. (2 1 ). . The table belowdemonstrates that the reliability of the BULATS Standard test is high withcorrelation coefficients ranging from .91 to .97. Validity studies include studies that assess bias, stakeholder impact,rater-reliability, and accommodations studies. Cognitive learning strategies of non-English department students on noun structure. The Speaking test is recorded and assessed by twoexaminers, one of whom conducts the test. ||B1 |4 -59 |Limited but effective command of a language, e.g. Each delivery organization chooses the exact format, and results are given according to the ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) Proficiency Levels. Retrieved, March 8, 2 1 from brief%2 overview%2 of%2 the%2 exam.pdfTaillefer, G. 1).The Standard BULATS exam is used by organizations and companies todetermine the level of language skills that staff and job applicantspossess. The tests aredesigned to be relevant to employees using a specific language at work.The two basic forms of the BULATS include the standard paper based test(PBT) taken with pencil and paper and the Computer-based test (CBT) takeneither on-line over the Internet or by CD-ROM on a stand-alone PC. Correlation between STEP BULATS writing and TOEIC® scores. . Thesetests are taken to show their language abilities which enable students topursue studies abroad. Other Issues Regarding the BULATS One issue regarding the use of standardized tests to assess languageability is that it is based on constructs in the English language.Tedjasuksmana and Yappy (2 6) reported that many students have troubletaking tests such as the TOEFL and they demonstrate specific problems onparts of the test covering grammar and noun structures. Cambridge ESOL's Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) wasdesigned to be used as a multilingual tool for organizations and learners.This test provides a fast and reliable method of assessing the languageskills of employees, trainees and job applicants in a cost effective manner(BULATS, 2 1 , p. The standardtest has 11 items and takes 11 minutes to finish (Sprachenshop, 2 1 , p.1). Findings from this group were comparedwith those of four latter cohorts of learners who were tested withformative assessment practices. Reliability is centered on inter-rater reliability or inter-markerreliability to insure that examiners mark exams consistently over time orcompared to other examiners. .. The CEFR (CommonEuropean Framework of Reference) was used to provide information for thedevelopment of the Online BULATS (University of Cambridge, 2 9). Items that distinguish between weak and strongcandidates are measured. . new writing test called ESL e-Write . assesses all four skills. WebCAPE Computer-Adaptive Placement Exams. The test usually lasts about 6 minutes. Formative assessment was compared to conventional summativeassessment procedures in an eight-year longitudinal design with eightcohorts of foreign language learners (N = 2215). Since most foreign students who take the BULATS (or similar testslike the TOEIC) are interested in usingthe certification for job-hunting, these two purposes are related. Timed writing and adult English-language learners: An investigation of first language use in invention strategies. (2 1 ). BULATS results are presented in a report that is easy tocomprehend. .this is a computer adaptive testing system for mathematics, reading and writing, and ESL . (2 8). Sometimes usability can be a little difficult because the test uses a system of arrows to proceed from one exercise to another, but, overall, it follows the format seen in the sections above. (2 6). Taillefer (2 5) noted thatstudents differ in their foreign language ability particularly in reading.This author studied a group of 177 European study abroad students and foundthat British, Irish, and French students ranked highest in readingcomprehension and strategy use, followed by Spanish, German, and Dutch-speaking students. This test can be taken in either a traditional or computer-based format.Computerized Tests BULATS. Most participants reported thefollowing: "67.7% agreed that candidates with good computer skills wouldperform better on CB IELTS than those with only basic skills" (p. Inthis instance, language production and business vocabulary familiarity aremore likely to be the focus. this version is only available in a limited number of locations worldwide. Each test can be used independently or combined. While high stakes tests like IELTS and TOEFLare used for academic admissions purposes, tests like the TOEIC and BULATSare used more for business language course placement and business Englishproficiency assessment (as well as general English proficiency levelassessment). ReCALL: the Journal of EUROCALL, 2 (1), 21-34.Elder, C., & Davies, A.

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