Publications & Resources

Initial Steps in the Validation of the Second Language Proficiency Descriptors for Public High Schools, Colleges, and Universities in California: Writing

Oct 1998

Frances A. Butler and Robin Stevens

The need for empirical validation of a specific set of second language proficiency descriptors for the four skill areas – reading, writing, listening, and speaking – provided the impetus for the work described in this report. The UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation developed a validation plan and undertook initial steps in the validation process with one skill area, writing. The process, which includes anchoring descriptor levels to student performance, involved the participation of writing experts from high schools, colleges, and universities across California. In addition, potential descriptor users from the same educational segments across the state were asked to help clarify descriptor applications. Work with the writing descriptors led to refinement of the validation process. The report includes a detailed description of that process and provides suggestions for steps that can be taken to validate the descriptors for reading, listening, and speaking.

Butler, F. A., & Stevens, R. (1998). Initial steps in the validation of the second language proficiency descriptors for public high schools, colleges, and universities in California: Writing (CSE Report 497). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).