Sheehan, Susan (2016) What to test at C1? In: EALTA 13th Annual Conference 2016, 5th - 8th May 2016, Valencia, Spain. (Unpublished)

This paper addresses the conference theme of constructs in assessment by seeking to identify criterial features at C1. It reports on a project which aimed to identify key criteria of written and spoken English at C1. The project hoped to bring clarity to our understanding of an under-specified and under-described level (Weir, 2005, Green, 2012). This new understanding could aid test developers when creating tests. The project was an extension of the British Council / EAQUALS Core Inventory for General English (Core Inventory). It aimed to provide data-based evidence conducted with learners to support existing theoretical work.
MA TESOL students with IELTS scores of 6.5 or above were invited to take a test of written and spoken English. The test had been created to satisfy the requirements of an external validation agency. The scripts were analysed with ATLAS ti software to identify which of the features described as core in the Core Inventory are found in the scripts and with what level of frequency. The software was used on both the written and audio data
Results and Conclusions
The language points which could be considered criterial tended to be those relating to argumentation and expressing feelings and attitudes precisely. There is some evidence to suggest that giving advice could be considered to be criterial. Perhaps the significance of the project lies in the creation of an approach to identifying criterial features by using the Core Inventory.

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