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Proficiency in English

Minimum Score Requirements for the Speaking and Writing Portions of the New TOEFL Test (TOEFL iBT)

After consulting with language experts, the Ontario College of Teachers established new acceptable minimum test scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

In October 2005, the Education Testing Service (ETS) introduced a new TOEFL test referred to as the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-based test) to measure four communication skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in one integrated test.

ETS provided appropriate score comparison charts for the reading and listening portions of the new test, but not for the speaking or writing sections.

Consequently, the College invited a representative panel of language specialists to recommend acceptable test score levels for the writing and speaking components of the new TOEFL test. The following scores were recommended:

Communication Skill Acceptable Test Scores: New TOEFL Test
Reading 24
Listening 23
Writing 28
Speaking 28
Overall 103

The scores would be considered on the higher end of the TOEFL scale and reflect the experts' desire to ensure that teachers certified in Ontario have a high standard of language proficiency.

As well the scores are consistent with College scores required previously using the TSE (test of spoken English) and the TWE (test of written English) and currently required under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The scores for the speaking and writing portions are consistent with the College's required scores for the speaking and writing portions of IELTS.

The overall, slightly higher acceptable test score (103) reflects the high standards the College set previously for writing and speaking.

The College will continue to review the Education Testing Service's findings regarding the new TOEFL test to see whether further adjustments to College scores should be made.

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