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A closer look at TOEFL Primary Step 1

The second round of TOEFL Primary Challenge 2014 will happen shortly with the challenge of the TOEFL Primary Step 1. After finishing this round, participating students will be receiving the TOEFL Primary Official Score Report issued directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is valid worldwide. Especially, for students reside in Hochiminh City area, this score report will also be approved by HCMC’s Department of Education and Training as a valuable English assessment evaluation for students taking intensive-English courses and for English courses as set forth in the Foreign Language Plan 2020.

The Second Round of the TOEFL Primary Challenge 2014 will be taken place in Hochiminh City on April 5th 2014 and in other provinces in the Southern area from April 12th to April 13th, 2014. This article is meant to provide the students with more detailed information on the TOEFL Primary Step 1 test so that they can maximize their results in this round.

TOEFL Primary test is the newest addition to the TOEFL Family of Assessments, designed to measure the English proficiency of elementary school students, along with TOEFL Junior for middle school students, TOEFL iBT for students planning to study abroad and TOEFL ITP for students planning to pursue graduate study in non-English speaking countries. the introduction of TOEFL Primary completes the proficiency assessment test system of English learners from low to high levels with consistent and homogenous evaluation criteria. Besides its purpose to measure students’ English skills, TOEFL Primary test is also meant to provide a foundation for students’ future success and develop their critical thinking skills since young age.  

TOEFL Primary test is divided into 2 Steps: Step 1 is intended for students in the earlier stages of learning while Step 2 is intended for students who have developed emergent communicative skills.

TOEFL Primary Step 1 is taken entirely on paper, students will need to finish 72 multiple choices in 60 minutes, and on the grading scale of 1 to 4 stars. The questions in Step 1 of the test will be covering familiar context (such as school, home, playground…); basic formulaic expressions; basic vocabulary and phrases related to common objects and people; short and simple requests and directions; short and simple test relevant to everyday experiences.

About the test structure, TOEFL Primary Step 1 consists of two parts: Reading Comprehension and Listening Comprehension:

  • Reading Comprehension: 36 questions – evaluates students’ understanding of common words about people, subjects, places, actions and ideas; of short descriptions, information in signs and short age-appropriate messages.

 

A sample question from Reading Comprehension part

  • Listening Comprehension: 36 questions – evaluates students’ understanding of simple descriptions of people and subjects, audio instructions (from teachers), common expressions used in everyday conversations, short messages, simple words on familiar age-appropriate topics.

Depending on the stars obtained, TOEFL Primary Step 1 Score Report will indicate the student’s current level of English proficiency and inform instructions and monitor their progress in learning English as follows:

Stars

Can do

Next Steps

1 star

Reading Comprehension: Students begin to recognize some basic words. They may be able to identify basic vocabulary with visual support.

 

Listening Comprehension: Students begin to recognize some familiar words in speech, such as words for objects, places and people. They may be able to understand familiar words with visual support.

Reading Comprehension: To improve their reading ability, student should:

  • Learn and practice reading common words in familiar categories such as home, school, family, colors, body parts, animals and actions
  • Read short, simple sentences about familiar people, objects, and actions (example: The boy is eating an apple)

 

Listening Comprehension: To improve their listening ability, student should:

  • Learn everyday words for objects and people in familiar categories such as home, school, family, colors, body parts, and animals
  • Use pictures to help learn new words
  • Listen to short, simple sentences about everyday actions, objects, and people. (example: She is swimming.)
  • Practice using common, everyday expressions, such as greetings

4 stars

 

Reading Comprehension: Student understand short descriptions, information in signs, and short messages. They can:

 

  • Understand common words and some less common words about objects, places, people, actions and ideas (example: ring, adventures, whisper, double)
  • Comprehend the meaning of complex sentences (examples: This is a friendly thing to do when you say goodbye. People do this when they talk quietly.)
  • Connect information in longer sentences and across different sentences to infer information, identify main ideas and understand the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Locate key information in texts

 

 

Reading Comprehension: To improve their reading ability, students should:

 

  • Study new, unfamiliar words
  • Practice reading stories and informational texts about a variety of topics
  • Practice reading longer and more complex texts
  • Speak or write in their own words about stories and information they read

Listening Comprehension: Student understand simple descriptions, instructions, conversations and messages. They can:

  • Understand less common words that describe familiar topics, settings and actions (example: pocket, pour, lamp, branch)
  • Understand indirect responses to questions in conversations
  • Understand messages in which information is not explicitly stated
  • Connect information to infer the main idea or topic of messages, stories and informational texts
  • Synthesize information from multiple locations in a longer, spoken text

Listening Comprehension: To improve their reading ability, students should:

  • Learn new, unfamiliar words they hear in longer stories and academic talks
  • Practice using less common words and expressions and conversations
  • Speak or write in their own words about stories and information they listen to

 

TOEFL Primary Step 1 scores can be mapped to The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) as follows:

 

CEFR

TOEFL PRIMARY

READING

LISTENING

 

Step 1

Lexile

Step 2

Step 1

Step 2

B2

 

 

 

 

 

B1

 

750L

5 medals

 

5 medals

A2

4 stars

550L

4 medals

4 stars

4 medals

325 L

3 medals

3 medals

A1

3 stars

125 L

2 medals

3 stars

2 medals

 

2 stars

BR 125L

1 medal

2 stars

1 medal

1 star

BR250L

 

1 star

 

In the document No 384/GDĐT-VP dated on February 17th 2014, the Department of Training and Education Hochiminh City has issued detailed instructions on using TOEFL Primary scale level to measure English proficiency of students taking intensive-English courses and English classes as set forth in Foreign Language Plan 2020.

For more details on TOEFL Primary test and TOEFL Primary Challenge 2014, please visit any offices of IIG Vietnam nationwide or visit www.toefl.com.vnwww.iigvietnam.com

 

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