10th Annual EALTA Conference

10th Annual EALTA Conference,

23-26 May 2013 Istanbul, Turkey

Game over? Investigating the impact of ECL exams on successful candidates

Gábor Szabó, Róbert Märcz / ECL Examinations

Abstract

Effectively any form of language testing is supposed to generate impact that serves the broader goal of furthering candidates’ language learning. Language examinations, however, are often perceived as a goal in themselves, rather than a form of feedback in the course of the language learning process. This is particularly so in the Hungarian educational policy context, where nationally accredited language examinations have great currency. Candidates can earn extra points for university entrance by passing these exams, and nationally accredited language examination certificates are a requirement for university graduation, too. Accordingly, it is not at all obvious that candidates, once they have earned their certificates, still continue to develop their language proficiency. In order to gather empirical data on this issue, ECL Examinations have launched a longitudinal project to monitor what the impact of ECL exams is on candidates’ future language learning. The research design is based on periodically sending questionnaires to ECL candidates who have successfully passed ECL examinations in different languages at various levels to find out about what candidates do after earning their exam certificates. The presentation intends to demonstrate how this task has been accomplished. Also, the first actual results of the project will be presented, along with an analysis of the responses with special regard to any potential relationship between test impact and test level as well as the language in which the exams have been taken. It will also be investigated whether there might exist a link between test performance and test impact.