Constraints of measuring language proficiency in Estonia: The national examination in the English language

Ene Alas, Suliko Liiv


The current article gives an overview of the development and problems related to the advancement of the national examination in English in Estonia over a ten-year period, starting from its launch in 1997. The process started in 1994, after Estonia regained its independence, and proceeded from the need to standardise both foreign language instruction and evaluation. The national examination gave the Ministry of Education, schools, teachers and students an opportunity to adequately assess language proficiency, as well as compare students and schools. On the other hand, universities and businesses obtained a tool to make admission/recruitment decisions. The article discusses the principles of the national examination construction, its specification, structural alterations over time, the task types implemented to measure particular language skills, marking procedures, exam results and exam evaluation.



test validity; test reliability; test specifications; rater reliability; washback effect

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2012 Ene Alas, Suliko Liiv

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

ISSN 1736-2563 (print)
ISSN 2228-0677 (online)
DOI 10.5128/ERYa.1736-2563