Test Writers’ Perceptions of English Language Tests in Relation to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) at a Saudi Arabian University

Gamal Shehata, Ayub Sheik

Abstract


The CEFR is currently being used globally as a guiding document for specifying the standards of language learning, teaching, and assessment. The university wherein this study takes place, assumes that its internally produced English language tests are CEFR-related because they are based on textbooks which claim affinity with the CEFR. This study investigates the validity of this assumption. The literature review suggests a wealth of studies which link a specific test or exam to the CEFR based on the technical procedures laid out in the Manual for Relating Language Examinations to the CEFR (the Manual). This study has a different approach as it investigates whether the internally produced English language tests at a Saudi Arabian university are linked/related to the CEFR from the perspectives of the academic staff who are responsible for producing the English language tests at the university wherein this study is conducted. As such, this study is situated within an interpretative case study paradigm and uses a mixed method methodology for data collection and analysis. The study showed that all the research participants share the view that the English language exams which they develop are CEFR linked/related because they are based on the learning outcomes of textbooks which, according to the publisher, are CEFR linked. In addition, the contextual issues related to the implementation of the Manual and the CEFR are to be considered. The study presents implications and recommendations for the institution and for ELT publishers who claim that their ELT materials are CEFR linked.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v8i2.17578

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