Psychometric approaches to language testing and linguistic profiling – A complementary relationship?

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The present study investigates as to whether and to what extent Linguistic Profiling can complement shortcomings of proficiency rating scales that are based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) (CoE 2001). In order to shed light on possible interfaces between the second language acquisition theory Processability Theory (PT) (Pienemann 1998, 2005) and the CEFR, learners were rated according to the CEFR and diagnosed with two linguistic profiling tools: Rapid Profile (Mackey, Pienemann, & Thornton 1991; Pienemann & Mackey 1993; Keßler 2006, 2008) and Autoprofile (Lin 2012). The emergence criterion (Pienemann 1998; Pallotti 2007) as used in PT as the starting point to determine acquisition is highly predictive in nature and thus taken as the point of departure of an integration of PT into the CEFR. The results show correspondences between CEFR levels and PT stages and suggest a reexamination of early CEFR levels in terms of the complexity of operations beginning learners are assumed to manage.


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