Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2 June 2021                      Pp. 49 – 71
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no2.4

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Validating English Language Entrance Test at a Saudi University for Health Sciences

Sabria Jawhar
Department of English, College of Science and Health Professions, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences & King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Manal Al Makoshi
Department of English, College of Science and Health Professions, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences & King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Correspondent Author: makoshim@ksau-hs.edu.sa

Sajjadllah Alhawsawi
Department of English, College of Science and Health Professions, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences & King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abdulmohsen Alkushi
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences & King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 

Received: 2/23/2021                  Accepted: 4/10/2021                 Published:6/24/2021

Abstract:
This paper aims to validate the English Language Entrance Test for King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science (hereafter KSAU-ET). It supports the argument regarding using specially designed in-house entrance tests at health universities by showcasing the test’s development, administration, and validation process. It presents a new framework for test validation that is informed by various existing frameworks such as Messick (1996), Sireci (1998) and, Weir (2005), with a specific focus on the notions of unitary and practicality. The proposed framework treats validity as a pre-, during, and post-test process that collects evidence from each phase to support the test’s overall validity. The data were collected using different tools and through the three stages of the validation process. The test was taken by 474 candidates who applied to join KSAU-HS Stream II medical program. The data confirmed that the test was reliable (alpha > 7) and reasonably meet the university’s needs to select the program’s top prospective candidates. Nevertheless, the study highlighted the importance of collecting further evidence in future studies and including more selection criteria in the regression model of analysis. Using this framework, the study contributes to the existing body of research that investigate English entrance test validation. It shows that exam validity is a context-sensitive process strongly associated with the purpose for which the exam is used. Finally, the paper discusses pedagogical implications that may help educators at health science universities develop in-house entrance tests in place of standardized tests, which often do not address context, curriculum, or program objectives.
Keywords: English entrance test, health science, language assessment validity, practicality, validation, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences

Cite as:   Jawhar, S., Al Makoshi,M., Alhawsawi, S., & Alkushi, A. (2021). Validating English Language Entrance Test at a Saudi University for Health Sciences. Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 49-71.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no2.4

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Received: 2/23/2021   
Accepted: 4/10/2021   
Published: 6/24/202 1 
https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no2.4 
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Dr. Sabria Jawhar is an assistant professor of applied and educational linguistics and the English Department Chair at the College of Science and Health Professions (Jeddah) at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS). Dr. Jawhar is a graduate of Newcastle University, UK. She is interested in all aspects of classroom discourse, assessment and use of technology in HE. However, her main focus is on talk-in-interaction. Corpus linguistics, especially spoken corpora, is another area of her interest. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1799-8888

Dr. Manal Al Makoshi is an assistant professor of applied linguistics and the English Department Chair at the College of Science and Health Professions (Riyadh) at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS). Dr. Manal holds an MA in TESOL from Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA and a PhD in applied linguistics from the University of Birmingham, UK. Dr. Manal’s research interests include language teaching and learning in higher education, corpus linguistics, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP). https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2145-1874

Dr. Sajjadllah Alhawsawi is an assistant professor of education and an associate dean in the College of Science and Health Professions, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS). Dr. Alhawsawi holds an MA in TESOL from the University of Exeter, UK, MSc in research methods from the University of Sussex, UK and PhD in education from the Centre of International Education and Development, School of Education and Social work, University of Sussex, UK. Dr. Alhawsawi’s research interest includes programme evaluation, teacher education, higher education, instructional design, sociology of education and pedagogical use of ICT university education. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6175-9892

Dr. Abdulmohsen Alkushi is an associate professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, and Dean of College of Science and Health Professions at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS). He is also a practicing consultant Pathologist at King Abdulaziz Medical City of National Guard. He holds a board from Royal College of Canada in Anatomical Pathology and subspeciality in Gynecological & Breast Pathology. He also holds a MSc in Pathology and Laboratory from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He also holds Master of Medical Education (MME) from KSAU-HS. He is a medical graduate from College of Medicine at King Abdulaziz University. Dr. Alkushi’s research interest includes health education, curriculum management, language education, breast cancer pathology and women health. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9329-2097