Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Jeffra Flaitz, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Wei Zhu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carine Feyten, Ph.D.


IEP, EAP, Testing, Content-based, CALP, Academic competence, Academic achievement


This study investigated the measurement quality of the Content Learning Experience: Academic Readiness (CLEAR) test, a new measure for university admissions decisions regarding English as a Second Language (ESL) applicants. The CLEAR test measures ability through dynamic simulation: learning opportunities are followed by testing how well students learned the academic content, all modeled on university instructional experiences.

Measured by the CLEAR is academic readiness (AR), the direct, present evidence of ability to learn academic content via the second language as demonstrated during the dynamic simulation. AR is hypothesized to comprise above-threshold academic language proficiency, personal characteristics, topical knowledge, academic skills, and academic auxiliaries (motivation, study skills, engagement, work drive, emotional stability, affective schemata, and metacognitive strategies).

The participants were 36 international adults, studying pre-university academic English at intensive institutes in Florida who volunteered to take the CLEAR during the summer of 2004. Data were collected via the CLEAR multiple-choice knowledge test and essay test, teacher ratings, examinee feedback, and external measures.

Results showed the CLEAR knowledge test functions well at the item level although overall scores are only moderately consistent. The essay scoring consistency was satisfactory, perhaps partly due to the purpose-built scoring tool Good support for content-related validity claims was found for the dynamic simulation overall, for the stimulus materials, for the knowledge test items, for the essay prompt, and for the essay scoring tool. The concurrent measure of teacher ratings correlated with the knowledge test, but not with the content-based essay. Concerning construct-related claims of validity, support was evinced through the literature review as well as through inter-subtest correlation. External measures suggested some discriminant evidentiary support. Examinees perceived that the CLEAR closely resembled the target environment, they judged the CLEAR quality to be a key feature, and they would recommend the CLEAR to a friend for the growth experience. In conclusion, the CLEAR dynamic simulation assessment appears to offer potential to university admissions testing for non-native English speakers, particularly regarding the utility of the learning potential measurement, the essay scoring tool, and the examinee perceptions of the test.