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Call for Proposal: TOEFL® Young Students Series Research Program: Research Grants
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The TOEFL® Young Students Series (YSS) Research Grants are intended to support research related to the TOEFL YSS assessments (i.e., the TOEFL® Primary™ and TOEFL Junior® tests) as well as foundational research that promotes high-quality language assessment related to young language learners between ages 8 and 16.

1/22/2016 to 3/31/2016
When: Friday, January 22, 2016
Where: United States

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TOEFL® Young Students Series Research Program: Research Grants — 2016 Call for Proposals

Purpose
The TOEFL® Young Students Series (YSS) Research Grants are intended to support research related to the TOEFL YSS assessments (i.e., the TOEFL® Primary™ and TOEFL Junior® tests) as well as foundational research that promotes high-quality language assessment related to young language learners between ages 8 and 16. This year, priority will be given to proposals that address the topics identified in the research agenda below. Particular preference will be given to validation research on the TOEFL Primary and TOEFL Junior tests.
Please note that, for the current grant period, ETS is able to provide researchers with a TOEFL Junior Standard test form and corresponding item-level data including demographic information about test takers. However, we are not yet able to provide similar test materials and data for the TOEFL Junior Comprehensive or TOEFL Primary tests. Nevertheless, ETS welcomes grant applications from researchers who plan to recruit participants and collect data locally in countries where TOEFL Junior Comprehensive and TOEFL Primary tests are administered.

Eligibility: Researchers around the world who hold a Ph.D. (or equivalent doctoral-level research degree), have expertise in English language learning and assessment, and who are affiliated with an academic institution or not-for-profit organization.

Amount of grant: Up to US $50,000

Research Topics

  1. Construct/Content relevance
    1. Relationship between TOEFL Junior or TOEFL Primary test scores and young language-learners' English communication skills outside of testing context.
    2. Effects of test takers' background characteristics on TOEFL Junior or TOEFL Primary test scores
    3. Relationship between young language-learners' strategies and TOEFL Junior or TOEFL Primary test scores
    4. Age appropriateness of tasks and task characteristics.
    5. Effect of construct-irrelevant factors on test performance
  2. Test use and impact
    1. Impact of the TOEFL Junior or TOEFL Primary tests on learning and teaching
    2. Uses of TOEFL Junior or TOEFL Primary test scores
    3. User perceptions of the TOEFL Junior or TOEFL Primary tests
  3. Foundational research topics
    1. Theory of language development in young English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners
    2. Domain analysis of communication skills for young EFL learners
    3. English education and assessment practices for young EFL learners
    4. Policy related to the assessment of young EFL learners
    5. Language development patterns of young EFL learners (including meta-analyses and studies that analyze longitudinal data)
  4. Innovations in learning or assessment of young EFL learners
    1. The types of assessment or other evidence teachers use to inform the teaching and learning of young EFL learners
    2. Impact of large-scale standardized language assessments on young EFL learners, teachers, parents and society
    3. Cognitive and affective factors that influence language development in young EFL learners

TOEFL Junior® Standard Test Form and Dataset for Public Use
A TOEFL Junior Standard test form and corresponding item-level data including demographic information about test takers (age, gender, native language, etc.) can be made available to grant recipients. For a more detailed description of the available data, see here. TOEFL Junior Comprehensive and TOEFL Primary test data and materials are not available to researchers at this time. 

Important Dates
March 31, 2016 - Proposals due
May 20, 2016 - Response to proposals; selected authors invited to revise and resubmit
July 8, 2016 - Revised proposals due
September 9, 2016 - Notifications sent to grant winners
January 1, 2017 - Tentative start date for funded projects

Application and Proposal Process
Proposal materials must be submitted via email to TOEFLYS@ets.org by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Thursday, March 31, 2016.

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