of the "Streamlined" Canadian Language Benchmarks
Placement Test (CLBPT)
FUNDED BY CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
June 22, 2002
The CLBPT was launched at TESL Canada Conference in Regina,
Saskatchewan in May 2002. For more information about the
CLBPT implementation please see our website.
Also for CLBPT Training and Support project please see
2002-2003 Projects above.
will be launched at TESL Canada
May 2002 Conference for use in ESL and LINC
Project Goal and Outcomes
The goal of this project is to carry out widespread implementation
of the new "streamlined" Canadian Language Benchmark
Placement Test (CLBPT) for use in LINC and non-LINC ESL
programs. The CLBPT includes:
Test Kit consisting of: Guide Book, Reading and Writing
Tests, a Listening/Speaking Assessment Log, an accompanying
photo-spread and audio tape, cover sheets for the CLBPT
and addendum notes
Training package to include: CLBPT Training Manual and
Video Cassette (10 taped interviews)
Use of the streamlined CLBPT will enable LINC Assessment
Centres to reduce backlog in high-volume intake periods
in LINC Assessment Centres across Canada, and will also
provide a reliable tool for ESL instructors to use to
test and place students in remote areas and other locations
where CLBA-trained assessors are not available.
In 1999-2000 the CCLB initiated a project to develop
a task-based placement instrument to determine the ESL
proficiency of adults in each of the four language skill
areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The "Streamlined
Test" (CLBPT) was to provide an alternative to the
traditional and more thorough Canadian Language Benchmarks
Assessment (CLBA) instrument in order to assist ESL instructors
in the testing and placement of students in remote areas
and other locations where CLBA-trained assessors are not
available; and to help CLBA-trained assessors reduce backlog
in high-volume intake periods in centres across Canada.
The contract for the development of the CLBPT was awarded
to the Association of Adult and Continuing Education School
Board Administrators of Ontario (CESBA).
FUNDING PROVIDED BY THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT.
In July 2001 a pilot study was conducted in order
to measure the comparability of the Streamlined Placement
Test (CLBPT) to the CLBA in scoring reliability and administrative
efficiency. Where the traditional CLBA assessment test
takes an average of 2.5 hours to administer to Stage II
students, initial testing showed that the CLBPT typically
takes 1.25 hours (30 minutes for each of Reading and Writing
and 15 minutes for Listening and Speaking combined). The
results of the study, based on a cross-Canada pilot over
the summer of 2001, are described in the Executive Summary
of the Final Report below.
FUNDING PROVIDED BY CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA,
AS WELL AS THE ONTARIO AND ALBERTA GOVERNMENTS AND IN-KIND
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE MANITOBA GOVERNMENT.
of the Validity of the Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement
Executive Summary, August 14, 2001
By: Philip Nagy The Ontario Institute for
Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
An examination was undertaken of the levels of agreement
between the Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test
(CLBPT) and the Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment
(CLBA), and the time saved by using the CLBPT. The sample
available, just over 500, was not as large as the 1600
that had been hoped for. The sample was adequate to establish
the overall level of agreement between the two instruments,
but not the level of agreement at each benchmark. We can
be certain, with 95% confidence, that the CLBPT agrees
perfectly with CLBA between 33% and 41% (37% ±
4%) of the time, and agrees within one benchmark between
79% and 85% (82% ±3%) of the time. Considering
that the CLBA is itself considered accurate within ±
one benchmark, this is quite a good level of agreement.
Except that the CLBPT gave slightly higher average results
in Listening/Speaking and in Reading at the middle benchmarks,
the disagreements were symmetrically distributed. The
CLBPT can be used for the same low stakes decisions for
which the CLBA was designed. Time saved with the shorter
test increased with benchmark level. Total testing time
saved was from about 15 minutes at Benchmark 1 to 75 minutes
at Benchmark 8. However, there were numbers of cases where
the CLBPT test took as long or longer than the CLBA test:
for Listening/Speaking, 30% of respondents, for Reading,
20%, and for Writing, 20%. Attempts at diagnosing the
source of disagreement were hampered by the small samples.
Not only were there lower levels of test writing than
expected, but the high level of agreement further lowered
the available number of cases of disagreement. Nevertheless,
it was possible to identify some sites where Listening/Speaking
agreement was lower than others. Administrators at the
pilot assessment sites provided substantial feedback on
the validation process. Many of the difficulties identified
focused on the lack of time available for the validation.
The tapes used in the Listening/Speaking tests, and the
written forms for all tests, need to be upgraded to production
quality. Test instructions and training procedures require
clarification and fine-tuning. Some test items require
revisions. A working group has been struck to deal with
these revisions as a prelude to the implementation process.
Further validation data will be collected as required.
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