Evaluating Spoken
Language Skills
the leading test of spoken language
A Harcourt Assessment Company
About Ordinate
 The leading provider of technology and services for
testing that uses speech.
 Founded in 1996 by two Stanford professors
 Created the patented Ordinate® Testing System
 Wholly-owned subsidiary of Harcourt Assessment
 Harcourt Assessment  part of Harcourt, Inc.,  which is
part of Reed Elsevier
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p2
Markets and Customers
Corporate
Needs:
•Recruiting selection
•Leadership
programs
•Training placement
Schools
Sample customers:
• Dell
• P&G
• Accenture
• IBM
• Bell South
• UK Railway
• Malaysian Airlines
Government
Needs:
• Employment
screening
• Language
certification
• Placement into
training
Needs:
• Teacher/TA
certification
• ELL placement
• Oral reading
fluency
Sample customers:
• Dallas Ind. School
District
• Univ of
Connecticut
• Tsinghua University
• Kobe University
Other
Sample customers:
• Dutch Immigration
• US Dept Homeland
Security – Border
Patrol
• FAA
• DOD – Defense
Language Institute
A Harcourt Assessment Company
Needs:
• Speech recognition
• Language
processing
• Speaking tests
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Sample customers:
• ETS (former)
• Pearson
• ACT
Oct-15
p3
Versant Product Overview
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p4
Versant spoken language tests
 Recognized leader
for testing spoken
language
 Taken over the
phone or on a
computer
 Automatically
scored
 Proven to be valid
and reliable
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p5
A better option with Versant
Relevant: focuses on SPOKEN
language skills – critical to understand
communication abilities
Reliable: standardized testing from
one location or cycle to the next
Efficient: quick and easy to administer
at anytime, from anywhere in the
world, scores are available in minutes
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p6
Versant Advantage
Conventional
Methods
Ordinate
Solution
Long
Rapid
External
Built in
High
Cost Effective
Turn-Around
Days-Weeks
Immediate-Minutes
Reliability
Moderate to
High
High
Cultural Bias
Uncontrolled
Measurable
Administration
Security
Cost
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p7
Reliability
• Consistency of measurement
• Split-half Reliability
Score Types
Overall
Sentence Mastery
Vocabulary
Fluency
Pronunciation
A Harcourt Assessment Company
Versant for
English
0.97
0.93
0.88
0.95
0.97
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Versant for
Spanish
0.96
0.96
0.77
0.94
0.95
Oct-15
p8
Versant Products
Product Line
Tests
Languages
General edition
Certification, Practice Placer,
Screener
English, Spanish
Aviation edition
Certification, Practice Placer
English
Call Center edition
Screener
English
Elementary ESL/EFL
Placement, Progress
English
Middle School ESL/EFL
Placement, Progress
English
High School ESL/EFL
Placement, Progress
English
Oral Reading Fluency
Benchmark, Progress
English
Placement, Progress
English
Versant for Business
Versant for Schools
Versant for Colleges
College ESL/EFL
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p9
Versant for Business Tests
Certification
Practice Placer
Screener
certification and high
stakes selection where
language facility is a
requirement
low stakes test to place
individuals for training or
to practice for the
certification test
low stakes way to quickly
get a very general idea of
language level
~15 minutes
61 questions
~5-7 minutes
36 questions
~3 minutes
25 questions
Content
Repeats, Short Answer
Questions, Sentence
Builds, Reading, Story
Retelling, Open Questions
Repeats, Short Answer
Questions, Sentence Builds
Repeats, Short Answer
Questions
Scoring
Overall score and 4
subscores, detailed report
Overall score level only
One of 3 general levels
only
Security
Anonymous test IDs,
secure test response
capture, encrypted
storage, secure reporting,
randomized test
generation
Anonymous test IDs,
secure test response
capture, encrypted
storage, secure reporting
Anonymous test IDs,
secure test response
capture, encrypted
storage, secure reporting
Purpose
Length
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p10
What do our tests measure?
Facility in spoken English
The ability to understand spoken
English on everyday topics and to
respond appropriately at a native-like
conversational pace in intelligible
English
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p11
How does a candidate
take a test?
1. Candidate calls the Ordinate Testing
System
2. Candidate responds to the test
questions or prompts
3. Responses are sent to the Ordinate
scoring system
4. Ordinate scores the test and makes it
available in the web reporting tool
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p12
Test Format
Part A: Read sentences
Part B: Repeat sentences
Part C: Short questions
Part D: Sentence builds
Part E: Open Questions
Note: Test items are computer
randomized, so each test is
different.
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p13
Sample Score Report
SCORE REPORT
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p14
How do we do it?
SPEECH
SIGNAL
ANALYSIS
ASR
SEARCH
ALIGNER
SCORER
RESPONSE
MODEL
SCORING
MODEL
REPORT
STATISTICAL OPTIMIZATION
8,000,000+ speech files
800,000 transcriptions
280,000 human grades
CANDIDATE
NORMING
SPEECH
REFERENCE
NORMING
SPEECH
> 100 languages
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p15
ScoreKeeper: records, reports
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p16
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p17
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p18
Can Versant help Your Group?
• If it is important that your employees
communicate in English on the job, we
can help…
Employee Selection
Training and Development
•
•
•
•
Screen applicants for jobs that require
English to ensure candidates have the
business communication skills they need
Ensure employees with management
potential have the language proficiency
to participate in leadership
development and move up.
Screen more employees in less time,
streamlining your recruiting or training
processes and reducing assessment
costs.
A Harcourt Assessment Company
•
•
•
Assess current language levels and
place students into the right level for
study.
Identify those who need targeted
speaking practice or remedial
instruction before participating in other
programs or classes.
Provide a performance-based speaking
practice activity within an English
training program.
Assess students with a progress
monitoring or post-training test to
measure how much speaking and
listening improvement a student has
achieved from a language program.
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p19
Versant™ spoken
language tests of
English or Spanish
To try a test or get more
information…
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p20
Get a Free Sample Test
• REGISTER for a free sample test – visit us
online to register at
www.versanttest.com
• Contact iGroup for more information
at [email protected]
A Harcourt Assessment Company
© 2007 Ordinate Corporation
Oct-15
p21
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