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English Proficiency and Academic Performance of International Students

Richard L. Light, Ming Xu and Jonathan Mossop
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1987), pp. 251-261
DOI: 10.2307/3586734
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3586734
Page Count: 11
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English Proficiency and Academic Performance of International Students
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Abstract

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the most widely used measure to determine the extent to which international students have developed the English language skills necessary for successful college-level study in the United States and Canada; a number of studies have examined the relationship between TOEFL score and academic success. In the study reported in this article, the records of 376 international graduate students at the State University of New York at Albany were analyzed for relationships among TOEFL score, grade point average, graduate credits earned, and academic major. TOEFL score was not found to be an effective predictor of academic success, as measured by grade point average, for this group of graduate students. However, there was a significant correlation between TOEFL score and graduate credits earned, and there were substantial differences among academic majors in the correlation between TOEFL score and grade point average. Directions for further research are discussed.

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