Project 5

Trinity College London Benchmarking the ISE suite of exams to the CEFR (2016)

Funded by Trinity College London.

This project aimed at benchmarking the Trinity exam suite Integrated Skills of English (ISE) to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). We employed an innovative standard setting method, i.e. the Item-Descriptor-Matching method, which is relatively unknown in the context of linking exams to the CEFR. It has the unique advantage that it focuses on the descriptors of the framework to which a test is to be aligned, thus enhancing alignment validity. This method, delivered in an innovative, low-cost online environment, facilitated benchmarking four exam levels and four skills to the CEFR. Results show high judgement reliabilities, and judges evaluated the method as feasible.

Claudia Harsch was cooperating with Trinity staff (Voula Kanistra, Alex Thorpe, Mark Griffith) and external colleague Glyn Jones on this project. Results were reported in a comprehensive internal confidential report (Harsch, ed., 2016). Selected insights were presented internationally and publications are currently under way.

Voula Kanistra (Trinity College London) is working on her PhD which is situated within this project.