Advanced SearchSearch Tips
Linguistic and Educational Factors Affecting TOEFL Scores: Focusing on Three OECD Countries in EFL contexts
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
 Title & Authors
Linguistic and Educational Factors Affecting TOEFL Scores: Focusing on Three OECD Countries in EFL contexts
Lee, Young-Hwa; Kim, Seon-Jae;
  PDF(new window)
This study aims at investigating the linguistic and educational factors affecting TOEFL scores, focusing on three OECD countries, Korea, Japan, and Finland. The data comprise document analysis on curriculums, websites, and literature. The findings reveal that the number of Korean test-takers and their TOEFL scores gradually increased year by year. Finnish test-takers consistently gained greatly high scores, and Japanese examinees showed the lowest scores. The languages Korean, Japanese, and Finnish are all far distant from English and receive little support on historical grounds from the Indo-European family tree. In Finland, however, Swedish which belongs to Indo-European languages is still used as an official language with Finnish. Korea and Finland adopt English education from Year 3 in primary school, whereas English is not an official subject in primary school at present in Japan. Finnish students are taught a foreign language in addition to English from primary school. These seem to support the result of the high TOEFL scores of Finnish test-takers. This study concludes that social context which includes linguistic and educational environments are the main factors which affect TOEFL scores.
TOEFL scores;OECD countries;social context;linguistic and educational environments;
 Cited by
R. Clark and R. Ivanic, The politics of writing, Routledge, London, 1997.

V. J. Cook and M. Newson, Chomsky’s universal grammar: An introduction, (2nd ed.), Blackwell, Cambridge, MA, 1996.

R. Ellis, Understanding second language acquisition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1985.

N. Fairclough, Language and power, Longman, London, 1989.

I.-S. Lee, Language of Korea, Shingu Munhwasa, Seoul, 1997.

J. M. Liceras, Linguistic theory and second language acquisition: A Spanish nonnative grammar of English speakers, Gunter Narr Verlag, Tubingen, 1986.

A. Pertti, Kalevala-lipas. SKS, Finnish Literature Societ, 1985.

M. Ruhlen, A guide to the world’s languages. Volume 1: Classification. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1987.

C.-Y. Shon and D.-G. Lee, History of English language, Korea National Open University, Seoul, 2004.

H. Stern, Fundamental concepts of language teaching, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1983.

J. C. Alderson, “Technology in testing: The present and the future,” System, 28, 2000, pp. 593-603. crossref(new window)

N. M. Al-Musawi and S. H. Al-Ansari, “Test of English as a Foreign Language and First Certificate of English tests as predictors of academic success for undergraduate students at the University of Bahrain,” System, 27, 1999, pp. 389-399. crossref(new window)

M. Chalhoub-Deville and C. Deville, “Computer adaptive testing in second language contexts,” Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 19, 1999, pp. 273-299.

M. Chalhoub-Deville and C. E. Turner, “What to look for in ESL admission tests: Cambridge certificate exams, IELTS, and TOEFL,” System, 28, 2000, pp. 523-539. crossref(new window)

I. Lee, “The effectiveness of TOEIC score on English oral proficiency,” Modern English Education, vol. 7, no. 1, 2006, pp. 33-52.

Y.-H. Lee, “Across boundaries: Outside practices for EFL writing of university sophomores,” English Language Teaching, vol. 20, no. 3, 2008, pp. 97-117.

J. A. Lett and F. E. O'Mara, “Predictors of success in an intensive foreign language learning context,” In Parry, T. S., Stansfield, C. W. (Eds.), Language Aptitude Reconsidered, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990, pp. 222-260.

B. A. Mohan and W. A. Lo, “Academic writing and Chinese students: Transfer and developmental factors,” TESOL Quarterly, no. 19, 1985, pp. 515-534.

T. Sakuragi, "Attitudes toward language study and crosscultural attitudes in Japan," International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32, 2008, pp. 81-90. crossref(new window)

M. S. Snow, “Economic, statistical, and linguistic factors affecting success on the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL),” Information Economics and Policy, 10, 1998, pp. 159-172. crossref(new window)

J. VanTassel-Baska and S. Wood. "The integrated curriculum model (ICM)," Learning and Individual Differences , doi: 10.1010/j.lindif. 2009.12.006. crossref(new window)

L. White, “Universal grammar and language transfer,” In Pankhurst, J., Smith, M. S., and Van Buren, P. (Eds.), Learnability and Second Languages: A Book of Readings, Foris, Providence, RI, 1988, pp. 36-60.

J. Jamieson, C. Taylor, I. Kirsch, and D. Eignor, “Design and evaluation of a computer-based TOEFL tutorial (TOEFL Research Report, No. 62),” Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ, 1998.

R. Berman, Transfer of writing skills between languages: L1 versus L2 teaching of persuasive essay writing to intermediate-level Icelandic EFL students, Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Lancaster University, UK, 1995.

Y.-H. Lee, Alignments and detachments in writing pedagogy: Interface between teachers’ practices and students’ purposes in two EFL writing courses in Korea, Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Lancaster University, UK, 2003.

H. Perpignan, Teacher-written feedback to language learners: Promoting a dialogue for understanding, Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Lancaster University, UK, 2000.

M. S. Snow, Formalizing the notion of syntactic relatedness among west Germanic languages, Master’s thesis, Department of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1967.

KICE, Research report No. 2008-3, 2008.

Migrants Language Center,, 2010.

Nordic news, 20th anniversary of the Nordic Language Convention, February 22, 2007, Retrieved on April 25, 2007.