A simple database created a decade ago using TOEIC has become one driver for skyrocketing foreign direct investment in Chile. Such investment quadrupled to around $15 billion in the seven years between 2003 and 2010 and reached over $28 billion in 2012.
In creating this database, the National Register of English Speakers, the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO) was acting on the realization that lack of information on English language proficiency of job candidates was affecting Chile’s growth. Some companies had stated that the sole reason they did not outsource business to Chile was because they were unable to assess the English language skills of Chile’s workforce.
Validity, to give a short and non-technical definition, means “the extent to which a test measures exactly what the test maker intends it to measure, nothing more, nothing less.” (definition courtesy of Donald E. Powers, ETS).
Why is understanding a test's validity important? It's simple--not knowing how valid a test is means you don't know to what extent results are meaningful and actually provide the information you need.
How can you determine how valid a test is? As a test user, you can simply ask the testing company for test development background and validity statistics. For the test's creator, however, ensuring validity is a huge challenge.
SoftBank, recently in the news for its acquisition of the third largest U.S. telecommunications company, Sprint Nextel, has now made another investment—this time in its employees.
Beginning this year and continuing through 2015, those scoring 900 out of possible 990 points on the TOEIC Listening & Reading test will earn a bonus of 1 million yen ($11,269).
Employees scoring between 800 and 899 will receive a smaller bonus of 300,000 yen (about $3,380).
I recently got back from a training session at Educational Testing Service that took me deep into the workings of TOEIC and other common standardized workplace English tests. A lot of interesting material was covered, and TOEIC representatives from around the world had great opportunities to share their experiences and “war stories.”
Every organization and every job is unique. TOEIC test developers recognize that and so rather than setting “one size fits all” pass-fail standards for hiring or employee evaluation, they encourage employers to define what English language skills people in particular positions need to succeed with their individual job responsibilities.
Such flexibility makes sense—an assembly line worker does not need the same English language skills as a software consultant. In the U.S., such distinctions also need to be considered to ensure compliance with government anti-discrimination standards.
But how do you know what score levels you need for your organization's different types of positions? The answer is that you don’t have to know. We will help you.
We have access to a range of tools from simple charts and industry averages to a questionnaire analysis process or statistical review of actual pilot testing.
I recently found and updated an FAQ developed by ETS some years back that is quite helpful in explaining in a brief format some of the reasons using TOEIC tests provides quality advantage.
Those who want a bit more detail can also explore this publication fully focused on explaining TOEIC reliability, validity, and fairness.
Last week, the AirAsia Group, Asia's largest low-fare airline, announced that it would be requiring TOEIC test scores for all flight attendant applicants.
The company, which is based in Malaysia and serves some 400 destinations in more than 20 countries, is in agreement with many others in the industry who have been finding TOEIC tests to be the right fit for their needs.
"We have always insisted on a good standard of English," commented AirAsia People Department regional head Adzhar Ibrahim, "but now we have this global standard that ensures that the same high level is maintained throughout our countries."
Other airlines have adopted TOEIC tests for similar reasons, using them in varying ways:
We regularly get inquiries on strategies for using TOEIC tests in English language teaching, as well as on how quickly scores can be expected to improve. Therefore I was interested to learn of research conducted by TOEIC representative Pro-Match in Australia that responds to both questions.
Pro-Match had the opportunity to work with results from almost 750 students at Pacific Gateway International College (whose English language centers have since been purchased by the Canadian company ILSC). Teachers in all Pacific Gateway's varied types of English language programs administered TOEIC Listening & Reading tests once each month throughout enrollment periods that lasted a minimum of four weeks and an average of twelve weeks—providing a wealth of data!
Whether you are at a business, English language center, or other organization, you can
help others and yourself by administering TOEIC tests.
Three of the many reasons you will want to do this are—