Main Article Content
To investigate the congruence between the requisite post-graduate academic language skills and the language skills measured by the General English section of the Iranian National PhD Entrance exam, field-specialist informants, language-specialist informants and post-graduate students were questioned. The informants’ data were collected through interviews and the students’ data were obtained through a language skills’ questionnaire. The informants and students’ data were analyzed through content analysis and frequency analysis, respectively. The informants acknowledged that all four language skills were crucial for academic success. Considering congruity, both groups of informants asserted that there was little congruity between the language skills measured by the exam and those of the academic context. Post-graduate students believed that the reading section of the exam did not match their academic needs; they also believed that a writing section should be added and that a listening section need not be included in the exam. The findings have some implications for a change in the curriculum preceding the exam.
International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Atai, M.R. (2002b). Iranian EAP programs in practice: A study of key methodological aspects. Sheikhbahaee Research Bulletin 1(2), 1–15.
Atai, M. R., & Mazlum, F. English language teaching curriculum in Iran: Planning and practice. The Curriculum Journal 24(3), 389-411.
Baldauf, R.B., Li, M., & Zhao, Sh. (2010). Language acquisition management inside and outside the school. In Handbook of educational linguistics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Benson, M. J. (1989). The academic listening task: A case study. TESOL Quarterly, 23(3), 421-445.
Berman, R., & Cheng, L. (2001). English academic language skills: Perceived difficulties by undergraduate and graduate students, and their academic achievement. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4, 25-40.
Bridgeman, B., & Carlson, S. B. (1983). Survey of academic writing tasks required of graduate and undergraduate foreign students. (TOEFL Research Report No. 15). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
Butler, F. A., Lord, C., Stevens, R., Borrego, M., & Bailey, A. L. (2004). An Approach to Operationalizing Academic Language for Language Test Development Purposes: Evidence from Fifth-Grade Science and Math. CSE Report 626. US Department of Education.
Canseco, G., & Byrd, P. (1989). Writing required in graduate courses in business administration. TESOL Quarterly, 23(2), 305-316.
Chamot, A. U., & O’Malley, J. M. (1994). The CALLA handbook: Implementing the cognitive academic language learning approach. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Cheng, L., Myles, J., & Curtis, A. (2004). Targeting language support for non-native English speaking graduate students at a Canadian university. TESL Canada Journal, 22, 50-71.
Clapham, C. (2000). Assessment for academic purposes: where next? System, 28(4), 511-521.
Dudley-Evans, T., & St John, M.J. (1998). Developments in English for Specific Purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Durkin, K. (2004). Challenges Chinese students face in adapting to academic expectations and teaching/learning styles of UK Masters courses, and how cross cultural understanding and adequate support might aid them to adapt . Discussion Paper. London: British Council.
Educational Testing Service (1990). TOEFL test and score manual. Princeton, NJ.
Eslami-Rasekh, Z. & Valizadeh, K. (2004). Classroom activities viewed from different perspectives: Learners’ voice vs. teachers’ voice. TESL EJ, 8(3), 1-13.
Farhady, H. & H. Hedayati. (2009).Language assessment policy in Iran. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 29, 132-141.
Ferris, D., & Tagg, T. (1996). Academic listening/speaking tasks for ESL students: Problems, suggestions, and implications. TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 297-320.
Field, J. (2011). Into the mind of the academic listener. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10; 102-112.
Flowerdew, J., & Peacock, M., (2001). Research perspectives on English for Academic Purposes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Fox, J., & Cheng, L. (2007). Did we take the same test? Differing accounts of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test by first and second language test-takers. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 14(1), 9–26.
Ghorbani-Nezhad, T. (1999). Iranian students’ performance on end-of-the-year English exams and on National Entrance Exam for Universities: A comparison. Journal of the Faculty of Letters and Humanities (University of Ferdowsi Mashhad) 32(1), 303–16.
Grabe, W., & Stoller, F. L. (2011). Teaching and researching reading. (2nd ed.). London, UK: Pearson Education.
Grabe, W., & Zhang, C. (2013). Reading and writing together: A critical component of English for academic purposes teaching and learning. TESOL Journal, 4(1), 9-24.
Gottlieb, M. (2004). Overview. In WIDA consortium K -12 English language proficiency standards for English language learners: Frameworks for large-scale state and classroom assessment. Overview document. Madison: State of Wisconsin.
Gottlieb, M.H., & Ernst-Slavit. G. (2013). Academic language a foundation for academic success in mathematics. In M.H. Gottlieb and G. Ernst-Slavit (Ed.), Academic language in diverse classrooms: mathematics, grades K-2: Promoting content and language learning (pp. 1-34). Corwin Press.
Huang, S. C. (2006). Reading English for academic purposes–What situational factors may motivate learners to read? System, 34(3), 371-383.
Hyland, K. (2006). English for Academic Purposes: an Advanced Resource Book. New York.
Leki, I., & Carson, J. (1994). Students’ perceptions of EAP writing instruction and writing needs across the disciplines. TESOL Quarterly, 28, 81–101.
Kiany, Gh., Mirhosseini, S.A., & Navidinia. H. (2011). Foreign language education policies in Iran: Pivotal macro considerations. Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning, 53, 222, 49–70.
Kim, S. (2006). Academic oral communication needs of East Asian international graduate students in non-science and non-engineering fields. English for Specific
Purposes 25, 479-489.
Maftoon, P., M. Yazdani Moghaddam, H. Golebostan, & S.R. Beh-Afarin. (2010). Privatization of English education in Iran: A feasibility study. The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language 13, 4, 1–12.
Morell, T. (2007). What enhances EFL students’ participation in lecture discourse? Student, lecturer and discourse perspectives. Journal of English for Academic
Purposes, 6, 222–237.
Ostler, S. E. (1980). A survey of academic needs for advanced ESL. TESOL Quarterly, 4(4), 489-502.
Reid, I., Kirkpatric, A., & Mulligan, D. (1998). Framing reading. Perth: National Center for English Language Teaching and Research with the Center for Literacy, Culture and Language Pedagogy at Curtin University of Technology.
Rosenfeld, M., Leung, S., & Oltman, P. (2001). The reading, writing, speaking, and listening tasks important for academic success at the undergraduate and graduate levels. TOEFL monograph 21. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
Rost, M. (2011). Teaching and researching listening (2nd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson
Ryan, K. (2002). Assessment validation in the context of high‐stakes assessment. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 21(1), 7-15.
Saville-Troike, M. (1984). What really matters in second language learning for academic achievement? TESOL Quarterly, 18 (2), 199-219.
Scarcella, R. (2003). Academic English: A Conceptual Framework (Technical report 2003-1). Santa Barbara, CA: Linguistic Minority Research Institute.
Schmitt, D., & Hamp-Lyons, L. (2015). The need for EAP teacher knowledge in assessment. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 18, 3-8.
Shafie, L., & Nayan, S. (2011). The characteristics of struggling university readers and instructional approaches of academic reading in Malaysia. International Journal of
Human Sciences [online]. 8,1.
Shelyakina, O. K. (2010). Learner perceptions of their ESL training in preparation for university reading tasks (Master’s thesis). Brigham Young University – Provo.
Shih, M. (1992). Beyond comprehension exercises in the ESL academic reading class. TESOL Quarterly, 26(2), 289-318.
Solomon, J., & Rhodes, N. (1995). Conceptualizing academic language (Research Rep. No. 15). Santa Cruz: University of California, National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.
Spaan, M. (2006). Test and item specifications development. Language Assessment Quarterly: An International Journal, 3(1), 71-79.
Swales, J. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Zahedi, K., & Shamsaee, S. (2012). Viability of construct validity of the speaking modules of international language examinations (IELTS vs. TOEFL iBT): evidence from Iranian test-takers. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 24(3), 263-277.
Zhu, W., & Flaitz, J. (2005). Using focus group methodology to understand international students’ academic language needs: A comparison of perspectives. TESL-EJ, 8 (4), 1-11.