Relationship Between the Proficiency of Oral and Written English of Four Non-native College Bound Students


This study examined the relationship between proficiency of speech and writing of four non-native college-bound students at the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies (CMMS) at the University of Central Florida. The students were selected for this case study based on their initial writing samples in the beginning of Fall 1992. Using a participatory research approach, data were collected during the Fall semester of 1992. Selected written samples evaluated by the Diederich scale and results of SPEAK and TOEFL tests were analyzed to determine what relationships could be inferred from the data collected. Two 30-minute in-class written assignments, and two four-page-long journal assignments were used to determine written proficiency. The Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test was administered twice during the semester, and scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) were analyzed to evaluate students' proficiency in the different skill areas. The in-class written assignments showed lower quality for most students when compared to the out-of-class assignments. The first and second SPEAK-test results were similar for each student. Their TOEFL test results improved the most toward the end of the semester. In comparing the different skills using the data from the three different areas, for two students the scores for the oral tests showed higher levels than their scores for writing, whereas for the two other students the written scores were higher than their oral scores. Comparisons of oral and written scores with the TOEFL results did not show consistency, thus predictions of oral and written proficiency from the TOEFL scores would not be accurate in the case of these four students. The subscores compared from the SPEAK and TOEFL tests and the written assignments did not lead to consistency either. The grammar components in the three areas, SPEAK, TOEFL, and writing, reflected overall scores more than they did a relationship of knowledge of grammar across the different skills. Where the overall score was strong, the grammar subscore was also strong. However, if the. overall score was weak, the grammar subscore was also weak. The results of this study suggest that the proficiency of writing does not guarantee the proficiency of speaking on the same level. Also, the TOEFL test scores are not predictive for the proficiency of speaking or writing.


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Graduation Date





Kysilka, Marcella


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Foundations




135 p.



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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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