The Efficacy of Placement Interviews for English Language Classes at a National Japanese University Based on a CEFR-J Model


From January 2015 to March 2015, the authors in conjunction with other faculty at the University of Fukui created a system of five-minute English oral interview protocols based on the Common European Framework – Japan (CEFR-J) and used those protocols to conduct 820 English placement interviews at the University of Fukui in April 2015. The first part of the paper focuses on the development of the interview protocols including use of Can-Do descriptors, instructor collaboration, and interview norming of 18 instructors. The second part focuses on the analysis of multiple forms of quantitative and qualitative data obtained through in-interview data collection and post-interview questionnaires including: (1) accuracy of interview results, (2) breakdown of student body by projected CEFR level, (3) distribution of scores by interviewer, (4) time per interview by level, and (5) student/interviewer reactions to the interview process. This analysis shows the efficacy of such an ESL interview system for accurately placing and assessing students according to their spoken English level as well as the positive affective outcomes for interviewees. In the third part, the authors give an overview of issues surrounding the development of English interview protocols – including question creation and norming issues – and the interview process itself. Finally, the authors discuss possible future implications of this type of oral interview assessment system for the secondary and tertiary education levels in Japan.

Author Information
Christopher Hennessy, University of Fukui, Japan
Nicolangelo Becce, University of Fukui, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2015
Stream: Higher education

This paper is part of the ACE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon