International Educator - March/April 2018 - 34

Frank believes that although there might be concerns with the
validity of some assessments, a wider variety of tests allows students
increased opportunity to demonstrate their language proficiency.
"If you only offer one or two tests, and they are pretty similar,
then you immediately restrict the level of success somebody could
have in terms of language proficiency," he says.
As an example, some tests might use a writing prompt that
asks a student to describe a graph or a chart, which would be a
task well-suited to an economics or business major. However, students in the humanities might not perform well due to their unfamiliarity with the subject rather than their language proficiency.
When deciding whether or not to accept a particular test,
Warren recommends that institutions make sure that assessments
consider all four language skills. She also advises looking at the
research reports that testing agencies publish on their websites to
explore specifics regarding error measure and validity.
Frank adds that institutions need to consider the provider's
security provision to verify a student's identity and standardization procedures to ensure that all scoring is consistent. He also
suggests looking at an exam's comparability and concordance with
other assessments. TOEFL, for example, has published an analysis
of how different TOEFL scores correspond to IELTS band scores.
And he recommends that campus units work together to make
sure a given exam is meeting all of an institution's assessment
needs. The ESL department might want one thing, while admissions is looking for something else. "It should be a cross-departmental dialogue," Frank says.

Assessment for Placement Purposes
Different institutions have different policies on whether or not
the assessments used for admission purposes will also determine
a student's English placement. At some universities in the United
States, students who meet the language proficiency requirement
for admission will automatically be eligible for the equivalent of
freshman composition. Other institutions require all international
students to take a secondary placement test. Many intensive
English and pathway programs also assess students' language
proficiency once they arrive on campus.
"One of the challenges is that students are directly admitted based
on a TOEFL or an IELTS score, which of course is a good measure
of some baseline language skills, but the tests don't necessarily look
at language use in real time and all the cultural implications that go
along with that. While a student may have achieved a certain score
on a standardized test which we deem college-ready or grad schoolready, there are all these other factors that are difficult to measure
before they come to campus," says Patricia Juza, director of the
International English Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Scott Stevens, director of the Intensive English Institute at
the University of Delaware, has also found that TOEFL scores do
not always align with classroom performance. "There are very
well-developed test-taking centers abroad that tend to undermine
the legitimacy of scores," he said.
After being unable to find a test on the market that met all of
their needs, the University of Delaware developed its own assessment to evaluate students who had been granted conditional

Video Interviewing on the Rise in Admissions

A

growing number of institutions are
using third-party video interview
services as part of their international admissions process. Institutions are
turning to providers such as Vericant and
InitialView to conduct admissions interviews with prospective students both to
verify students' identities and other information in their applications, as well as to
assess their English language proficiency.
With an initial focus on China, Nicki
Fung cofounded Vericant in 2011 with the
goal of helping international boarding
schools verify information found in other
parts of the application. According to
Fung, adding an interview helped alleviate
uncertainty related to the authenticity of
essays and transcripts. In China, it also
helped prevent identity fraud as stu-

34  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R .+ A P R . 2018

dents have to come into the office and
do the interview face-to-face. Vericant
subsequently started to work with higher
education institutions.
"Three or four years ago, when we first
started talking to universities, the idea of
even having an interview in their admissions process was just so foreign. But now,
people are realizing that with the influx of
Chinese applicants and other international
applicants who don't speak the language,
who aren't able to adapt to the culture,
that the interview can be an important
piece [of the application]," Fung says.
Using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR),
Vericant developed a rubric that assesses five areas of speaking and listening:
accuracy of grammar, range of vocabu-

lary, fluency of speech, ability to interact
with the interviewer, and coherence. Two
independent raters score the videos along
the five dimensions, and both scores are
then averaged to come up with a single
composite score. Vericant's rating system
helps partner schools, especially those
with large volumes of applications, sort
through the interviews. In addition to
the interview, students are also given a
30-minute proctored writing task, which is
not currently assessed but is passed on to
partner institutions.
Vericant partners with approximately
90 secondary schools and more than 100
higher education institutions, a number
which has grown from fewer than 20 three
years ago. According to Fung, colleges and
universities use the videos in a variety of



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Canada
Quick Questions
Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Global Spotlight: Canada
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Forum
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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