A1 Journal article (refereed)
The meaningfulness of two curriculum-based national tests of English as a foreign language (2022)

Hilden, R., Pulkkinen, J., & Rautopuro, J. (2022). The meaningfulness of two curriculum-based national tests of English as a foreign language. Studies in Language Assessment, 11(2), 130-163. https://doi.org/10.58379/dqvs8821

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsHilden, Raili; Pulkkinen, Jonna; Rautopuro, Juhani

Journal or seriesStudies in Language Assessment


Publication year2022


Issue number2

Pages range130-163

PublisherAssociation for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand

Publication countryAustralia

Publication languageEnglish


Persistent website addresshttps://arts.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/4396263/SiLA_11.2_Hilden-et-al.pdf

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/84707


This paper addresses the aspect of the meaningfulness of a national assessment in English as a foreign language, applying the fairness framework proposed by Kunnan (2018). We compared students’ performance on two receptive language skills of listening and reading on two subsequent national evaluations in Finland, taken by students at the end of compulsory basic education and at the end of general upper secondary education, respectively. The research questions focus on (1) the relationship between students’ performance on the two tests and their gender, language of schooling and parents’ educational level, and (2) the relationship between the students’ receptive language proficiency at the end of basic education and general upper secondary education. The data were analysed using linear regression and quantile regression analyses. The effect of background variables on the proficiency was stronger for low-performing students than for highperforming students. Moreover, students’ proficiency on the receptive skills at the end of basic education well predicted that at the end of general upper secondary education across several points in the score distribution. The findings also indicated persistent challenges with respect to educational equality and equity that requires ongoing attention by policy-makers and test designers.

Keywordslearninglearning resultsevaluationforeign languageslanguageslanguage learninglanguage skillsEnglish languagesecond languagecomprehensionlistening comprehensionreading comprehensionunderlying factorsjusticeequality (values)education policy

Free keywordslarge-scale assessment; learning outcomes; listening comprehension; reading comprehension; validation; fairness; justice

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 22:06