Accountability of English-language Proficiency Testing for Immigrants to Canada

Collaborative scholarship in assessment, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization

Accountability of English-language Proficiency Testing for Immigrants to Canada

Canada is facing a critical fast-growing need to drive economic growth while countering its ageing population. In 2016, Canada settled close to 300,000 permanent residents and that number is expected to rise to 340,000 in 2020, an increase of 13.3% in just 4 years (IRC Canada, 2017). The purpose of this mixed-methods study is to assess the suitability of the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic to assess English-language proficiency of potential immigrant by Immigration, Refugees, & Citizenship (IRC) Canada. This study reports on 200 test takers sitting the PTE-Academic, as well as IELTS General and CELPIP-G which are already used for immigration screening. In Phase 1, quadratic models and r2 values will be used to compare and link test scores from all 3 exams. In Phase 2, participants’ responses from focus-groups will be coded for themes. This linking study improves accountability to all stakeholders, particularly immigrant test takers whose eligibility for Canadian citizenship, employment opportunities, and quality of life depend on their test scores.

Lead Investigator: Dr. Liying Cheng

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