The National Examination of English in Lithuania: Searching for Evidence of CEFR Criterial Achievement Levels
Keywords:CEFR levels, language assessment, grammatical criterial features (GCFs), Lithuanian learners of English, English Profile (EP)
AbstractAlignment of language tests with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) is a com¬plex process. One of many steps in this process involves the analysis and benchmarking of learner per¬form-ances characteristic of one or another achievement level. It is the analysis of grammatical features of learner essays written during the national English examination in Lithuania that is at the focus of this article. The study aims to investigate to what extent a list of grammatical criterial features (GCFs), proposed by the English Pro¬file Programme (EPP) at the University of Cambridge (Hawkins and Filipović, 2012), is applicable to Lithua¬nian learners. Bearing in mind the fact that the national examination of English in Lithuania is oriented towards levels B1 and B2, the purpose is to contribute to the empirical validation of the test by providing linguistic evi¬dence from the essays of successful candidates. As the analysis shows, the corpus of examination essays used in this study contains many A2 structures, half of B1 and about one third of B2 structures proposed by the EPP team. The article discusses a number of issues related to the criteriality of individual GCFs and the applicability of a general list of features to specific learner groups.
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