Test Blueprint
Skills Targeted
The ELTiS assesses the English language proficiency of secondary students in both social and academic language with an emphasis on the latter.  The test measures reading comprehension and listening comprehension skills.

The operational definition of “academic language” is language used in schools in the service of learning. Based on the research conducted to develop ELTiS, the concept of “academic language” encompasses the following:

  • School Vocabulary – words and phrases used for school-related activities.
  • School Management Language – the instructions that teachers and other school personnel give to students to direct their behavior.
  • Content Management Language – the general academic language used to discuss the content of academic tasks and classes (e.g., discuss, explain, compare and contrast).
  • Subject-Specific Language – the specific academic language used to express ideas in content areas (e.g., foreshadowing, migration, trapezoid, molecule).
  • Academic Language Skills – the language skills that underlie academic tasks or activities (e.g., explaining, differentiating facts and opinions).
Listening
The Listening section measures the students’ ability to understand spoken English that is typically found in school situations. The questions measure literal comprehension as well as inferential. Each of the four parts of the Listening section presents a different type of spoken language as described below. The Listening section is administered using a CD, which includes directions to the students, the listening texts, and the test questions. The questions are also printed in the test booklet. All the parts except Part 2: Comprehend Mathematical Language are played once. Part 2 is played twice.

Part 1: Follow Classroom Directions
This part has four questions. It measures the students’ ability to understand teacher directions. The directions contain school management language and involve from one to three steps. For each test question, the students see a picture and hear a teacher giving three different directions. The students then choose the direction that the students in the picture have followed. The maximum length of the directions is 30 words.

Part 2: Comprehend Mathematical Language
This part has four questions. It measures the students’ ability to understand word problems and  common math vocabulary. For each question, the speaker on the CD describes a word problem and explains how to solve it. After hearing the word problem and its solution twice, the students choose a mathematical expression that corresponds to the solution. It is worth emphasizing that the focus of this task is on language rather than mathematics, and this is why the solution to the word problem is explained in the item. The students just need to make the connection between the explanation of the solution in English and the mathematical notation for it. The word problems themselves are involving basic arithmetic operations, fractions, and percentages.

Part 3: Understand Classroom Dialogue
This part has three dialogues, each with three comprehension questions. The questions focus on the students’ ability to understand the gist and details of classroom-like dialogue. The dialogues may be between a teacher and a student or between two students.

Part 4: Listen and Respond to Academic Lectures
This part has two lecture-type presentations and seven questions. The questions focus on the students’ ability to understand the gist and details of lecture-type presentations from a range of content areas.

Reading
The Reading section has three parts. It measures the students’ knowledge of academic vocabulary and comprehension of written English. Vocabulary is tested in the context of a simple sentence. Text comprehension is tested through presenting the students with graphs and textbook-like texts from a range of content areas. Types of comprehension questions include main idea, details, and vocabulary in context. The questions measure inferential as well as literal comprehension.

Part 1: Demonstrate Vocabulary Knowledge
This part has seven sentences, each with a missing word. It measures the students’ knowledge of general and content-specific academic vocabulary. The students use contextual clues in each sentence to choose the appropriate word.

Part 2: Read a Graph
This part has four comprehension questions about a graph or a table. It measures the students’ ability to understand information presented in graph or table form. The questions focus on the main idea and details such as facts, comparisons, and sequence.

Part 3: Read and Respond to Academic Texts

This part has three academic texts and 15 comprehension questions, five associated with each text. It measures the students’ ability to comprehend the main idea and details of the text. The questions focus on understanding explicitly stated facts, comparisons, sequence, cause/effect, predictions, feelings/emotions, inference, and vocabulary in context.