Educational Testing Service

October 25, 2010 08:00 ET

ETS Launches the TOEFL® Junior™ Test to Guide English Learning for Younger Students

New Resource for U.S., Canadian and Global Public and Private Schools

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - October 25, 2010) -  To help students who are studying English as a foreign language, Educational Testing Service (ETS) has launched the TOEFL® Junior™ test, a global assessment of middle school-level English language proficiency. The first operational administration occurred today when more than 500 Korean middle school students took the test. Additional administrations will soon follow in 12 other countries including France, Brazil, and Vietnam.

The TOEFL Junior test is a low-stakes assessment that measures the degree to which younger students have attained the language proficiency representative of English-medium instructional environments. Designed for middle school-aged students for whom English is a foreign language, it measures listening and reading ability as well as knowledge of language form and meaning. 

"English proficiency is an increasingly important skill for students worldwide," explains Dr. Philip Tabbiner, Senior Vice President of ETS Global & Partnerships. "With instruction beginning at earlier ages, mastering English expands students' access to a range of educational, personal and professional opportunities. This is especially true for public and private schools in English-dominant countries like the U.S., Canada and the U.K., as well as international schools in non English-dominant countries."

"Because the TOEFL Junior test is a global assessment, students, teachers, administrators, and parents around the world can depend on it for objective information about English language skills to support placement decisions after admission to these schools or in any country using bilingual approaches to instruction," Tabbiner adds.  

The TOEFL Junior paper-based test (pBT) contains three sections:

  • Listening Comprehension:
    • Ability to listen for basic, interpersonal purposes
    • Ability to listen for instructional purposes
    • Ability to listen for academic purposes
  • Reading Comprehension:
    • Ability to read and comprehend academic texts
    • Ability to read and comprehend non-academic texts
  • Language Form and Meaning:
    • Ability to demonstrate proficiency in key enabling skills such as grammar and vocabulary in context

While the TOEFL Junior test is a distinct product within the growing TOEFL family of English assessments, it is not designed to be a predictor of later performance on the TOEFL iBT, Tabbiner explained. Rather, he said, it is geared to serve the language learning needs of students 11 to 14 years of age. The test has been built using ETS's nearly half century of expertise in developing international assessments of English language proficiency.

Plans call for a computer-based version of TOEFL Junior in the future that will include assessment of Speaking and Writing. 

For further information on the TOEFL Junior test, contact ETS at or visit

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