2019 Vericant SEE Scoring Updates

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Vericant SEE Scoring Updates

Every year, Vericant reviews the Spoken English Evaluation (SEE) to ensure that it provides an accurate measurement of a student’s ability to communicate effectively in an English classroom. For this season we have made a number of important scoring updates that are explained below.

Vericant’s Assessment team has collaborated with leading experts in the field of assessing English as a Second Language (ESL) to revise our scoring system to reflect the latest scientific advances. The Vericant Spoken English Evaluation (SEE) scoring rubric was originally modeled after the Common European Framework Reference for Language (CEFR). However, linguistic science has evolved since the CEFR was first published, and experts of applied linguistics for ESL students have new data informing them of the most important features of communication. As a part of our ongoing commitment to remain at the cutting edge of linguistic assessment,and to present the ability of students fairly and accurately, we have spent the last 12 months updating the SEE scoring rubric.

Vericant has notified all partner schools to ensure that they understand the changes in the rubric and implications of these updates so that they can adjust their evaluation processes accordingly.

Key changes to the SEE rubric and their impact on scores are listed below:

Key changes to the SEE:
Students are scored on specific features within five linguistic categories (Range, Accuracy, Fluency, Interaction, and Coherence). These feature scores are now weighted, meaning that some features have more or less impact on the overall score than other features.
The features that now have MORE weight are related to a student’s ability to demonstrate interactive skills in the interview.
The features that have LESS weight are related to grammatical and lexical accuracy.

Effects of Changes:
A student who is able to express themselves effectively, but makes grammatical errors may see a higher score under the new rubric than under the prior rubric. In essence, the SEE now places greater emphasis on a student’s ability to communicate effectively, while reducing the emphasis on the student’s ability to be grammatically accurate.

Although individual results will vary, we anticipate that these changes will result in an increase of the average SEE score by 0.25-0.75 points.

STUDENT SCENARIOS: EXAMPLES OF SCORING IMPACT

Student A:
The student has a strong vocabulary and is able to use advanced (SAT/GRE level) words.
This student has average grammatical control and regularly has problems with prepositional phrases and word order.
The student’s accent causes mispronunciations, which at times may lead to misunderstandings.
The student is engaged and interactive throughout the interview. She is not afraid to speak, and does so with confidence.
Old score: 3.6 SEE

New score: In calculating the new score, there is less of a negative impact from the grammatical mistakes. Also, a more positive impact from interactive skills pulls the student’s score up. Mispronunciations that make the student difficult to understand still impact her fluency score.

New score: 4.1 SEE

Student B:
The student has a great grasp of vocabulary and grammar.
The student often gives very short responses and does not consistently demonstrate the ability to speak spontaneously in the interview.
The student’s accent is clear, although she lacks a varied tone. This results in her sounding monotone at times.

Old Score: 4.2 SEE

New score: While this student scores highly in accuracy, she will score lower in range as she is not able to demonstrate the ability to converse comfortably on a wide range of topics. The student’s fluency score may be affected by her monotone answers.

New score: 3.8 SEE