Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 15. Number 1, March 2024                               Pp.352-367
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol15no1.22

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Challenges and Benefits of Developing CEFR for Languages-Aligned Writing Assessments for Thai
EFL Learners: A Case Study on Yala Rajabhat University Test of English Proficiency

Koleeyoh Jeh-do
 Center of Languages and ASEAN Studies, Yala Rajabhat University, Yala, Thailand
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Yala Rajabhat University, Yala, Thailand

Varavejbhisis Yossiri
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Yala Rajabhat University, Yala, Thailand
Corresponding author: varavejbhisis.y@yru.ac.th

Muhammadsukree Hayeesani
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Yala Rajabhat University, Yala, Thailand

Smith Vongsvivut
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Yala Rajabhat University, Yala, Thailand

Nurulhusna Paramal
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prince of Songkhla University Pattani Campus, Pattani,
Thailand

 

Received:10/16/2023             Accepted:03/12/2024                      Published: 03/20/2024

Abstract:
This research aims to explore the development of the local standardized tests, Yala Rajabhat University Test of English Proficiency or YRU-TEP, tailored to specific regions, and explore the test aligning with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages compared to another standardized test, English Discoveries. This study focuses on the context of Thai English as a foreign language learners’ context. To write the test items, Can-Do statements were employed as the expert panel discussed and agreed on the objectives of each skill assessed in each item. In contrast, each item was evaluated through the Index of Item Objective Congruence by the experts. Three hundred experimental groups of test takers have been involved through purposive random sampling. To explore if the YRU-TEP aligns with the CEFR proficiency levels, another standardized test, English Discoveries developed by the ETS has been employed. The experimental test takers took both tests, and the scores were calculated following the cutoff scores to see if they were equivalent. The results showed that 98.67% of the scores had equally the same CEFR levels. However, challenges exist in implementing CEFR-aligned writing assessments in this context. Addressing these challenges involves adapting CEFR to the Thai context, ensuring cultural relevance, refining assessment criteria, and effective resource management. This endeavor contributes to standardizing language proficiency assessment practices and enhancing the quality of EFL education, especially in the case of local tests like the YRU-TEP.
Keywords: Assessment, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, English language
proficiency, test specification, Thai EFL learners, writing test, Yala Rajabhat University Test of English Proficiency

Cite as:  Jeh-do, K., Yossiri, V., Hayeesani , M., Vongsvivut, S., & Paramal, N. (2024). Challenges and Benefits of Developing CEFR for Languages-Aligned Writing Assessments for Thai EFL Learners: A Case Study on Yala Rajabhat University Test of English Proficiency. Arab World English Journal, 15(1): 352-367.  DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol15no1.22

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Received: 10/16/2023
Accepted: 03/12/2024 
Published: 03/20/2024
https://orcid.org/0009-0006-9064-3772
https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol15no1.22  

Kholeeyoh Jehdo is a lecturer in the English Education program and holds a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics with ten years of experience in teaching English, especially English language assessment, and classroom management. Assistant professor is her academic rank and her research interests relevant to English language testing, and second language acquisition.Email: khaleeyoh.j@yru.ac.th  ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0006-9064-3772

 Varavejbhisis Yossiri, a lecturer of English and linguistics and a former Fulbright scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, holds a Master’s in Applied Linguistics and a Bachelor’s in English. He’s certified in TESOL and his research interests include applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and second language acquisition. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0008-3939-3362

 Muhammadsukree Hayeesani is currently a full-time English lecturer at Yala Rajabhat University, Thailand. He earns his Master of Arts in Language and Communication from the Graduate School of Language and Communication, NIDA, Thailand. He has been teaching English for nearly a decade and has published a couple of research articles. His interests include Mobile-assisted language learning, English-speaking strategies, linguistic landscapes, and communication strategies for EFL learners. Email: muhammadsukree.h@yru.ac.th  ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0001-4552-4196

 Smith Vongsvivut is a lecturer of English at Yala Rajabhat University with decades of experience in teaching. He specializes in Business English and is responsible for teaching in the field of English for Specific Purposes. His research interests are in the field of reading and listening in a second language, second language teaching and learning methods, communication and the role of culture in communication. Email: smith.v@yru.ac.th  ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0008-2105-2930

 Nurulhusna Paramal, a dynamic EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher based in Thailand, combines cultural sensitivity with innovative teaching methods. Her research interests are relevant to English linguistics, language teaching and second language acquisition. Email: nurulhusna.p@psu.ac.th   ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0009-1275-8760