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VIPKid & ETS: Research Findings on the use of the TOEFL Primary tests in the Major Course

By VIPKid  |  January 5, 2021

“This study is the first step in the burgeoning field of learning efficacy in digital learning platforms.” – Professor Jun Liu, Chief Academic Officer at VIPKid and President of the VIPKid Research Institute.

VIPKid is excited to announce our research collaboration with ETS, the world’s largest private, nonprofit educational research and assessment organization. ETS is a globally trusted provider of educational assessments and services, known for the TOEFL® Family of Assessments — including the TOEFL Primary®tests. The TOEFL Family of Assessments from ETS are considered the gold standard for educational assessment and are recognized and respected by educational institutions globally. TOEFL Primary tests measure young students’ English-language proficiency in reading, listening, and speaking. VIPKid and ETS have recently collaborated to publish a joint study that explores the appropriate use of the TOEFL Primary tests in the context of the Major Course curriculum offered by VIPKid.

The methodology of the study included both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The researchers gathered data from VIPKid students who took the TOEFL Primary tests, concluding that the students display a higher level of English proficiency as they progress through Major Course. Using the test data, the study confirmed that the TOEFL Primary tests are at the appropriate level of difficulty for the students enrolled in the Major Course curriculum. In addition, systematic coding showed an overall good match between the language skills, communication goals, and task types featured on the TOEFL tests and the learning activities in the interactive slides designed by VIPKid in the Major Course.

This study comes a year after the establishment of the VIPKid Research Institute: a team of distinguished scholars, research scientists, curriculum and assessment experts from some of the world’s leading curriculum departments. The VIPKid Research Institute’s purpose is built on a commitment to understanding and optimizing the online education process, including breaking down the unique challenges that emerge with online education. The formation of the VIPKid Research Institute highlights our commitment to ensuring that all VIPKid students receive a rewarding, educational experience. 

This research collaboration is reflective of VIPKid and ETS’s commitment to the complexities of online education and learning efficacy. At VIPKid we are both empowered and proud of the study’s findings and will continue in our commitment to research that further optimizes and improves online education.

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