Home > Kumon joins forces with Educational Testing Service (ETS)
July 6, 2011
Kumon Institute of Education Co., Ltd.
Kumon Institute of Education Co., Ltd. (President: Akio Tsunoda) joined forces in July with Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world's largest non-profit test development and research organization which, starting with the TOEIC® and TOEFL® tests, develops approximately 200 test programs.
Kumon is responsible for developing students' abilities in 45 countries and regions worldwide. With the relationship with ETS, which is a global authority on ability measurement, Kumon aims to contribute to the development and improvement of education in the world through exchange and integration of expertise that each has cultivated and also personnel exchange.
|Ability Development||Ability Assesment|
|45 countries and regions||Business development||Tests held in 180 countries and areas worldwide|
|1958||Date of establishment||1947|
|Discover the potential of each individual and developing his or her ability to the maximum||Mission||To advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services. Our products and services measure knowledge and skills, promote learning and educational performance, and support education and professional development for all people worldwide.|
■ Contributing to the improvement of worldwide education levels through global human resource development
Globalization is progressing rapidly. Against this backdrop, education is moving from guaranteeing opportunities to an era of questioning its quality, as is seen in the World Bank Education Strategy 2020. There is a growing social demand to measure ability with a "worldwide standard ruler" as seen in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) promoted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
At Kumon, we develop the potential ability of students not just in Japan, but all over the world, through subjects such as Math, Japanese (native language) and English (EFL = English as a Foreign Language). We have joined forces with ETS, a global educational organization with similar objectives, in order to provide even more opportunities in the future for children to be able to have a stronger awareness of their relationship with the world, and also for them to acquire the strength to be able to play an active role in the international community.
Kumon will aim to seize the exchange and integration of expertise and personnel exchange through this relationship as an opportunity to make further progress and to develop global human resources that understand their potential with global standards and to increase their level. We will contribute not only in English, but also to elevating the level and quality of education with a global perspective.
As the first step of this, we have started to promote the TOEFL® Junior™ test* in Japan. The following new company (GC&T) that was established to mark the relationship between Kumon and ETS will be responsible for promotion of the TOEFL Junior test.
*The TOEFL Junior test: A global standardized test newly developed by ETS that measures the English proficiency of middle school students and lower level high school students who are not native English speakers. This test should not be used for college admissions.
■ ETS (Educational Testing Service)
Headquarters: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Organization details: World's largest test development organization (nonprofit)
Number of employees: Approximately 5,000 (Of who approximately 1,000 have received training in each field of education, psychology, statistics, psychometrics, computer science, sociology and social sciences and are experts in testing, education and research)
◆ Over 60 million tests held a year in 180 countries; a total of 24 million students per year
◆ Developed a program of approximately 200 tests including the TOEIC® and TOEFL® tests, the College Board's SAT® test (the leading standardized university entrance test across America) which takes the name of the National Center Test for University Admissions in Japan and the GRE® test (the most widely-used standardized graduate school entrance test)
◆ Responsible from the initial Reading Literacy Section Chair of PISA that is conducted by the OECD
◆ ETS was centrally involved in the development of Item Response Theory (IRT) and utilizes IRT for a number of its tests including the TOEFL tests. Because ETS conducts leading edge research, which in part resulted in IRT becoming an accepted standard practice, and because ETS has high standards for both item and test development, it is a world leader in assessment.
■ The TOEFL® Junior™ test
The TOEFL Junior test is a global standardized test that measures the English proficiency of middle school students and lower level high school students who are not native English speakers. This test should not be used for college admissions.
The test consists of three sections, Listening Comprehension, Language Form & Meaning and Reading Comprehension, in the form of an English question/answer mark sheet.
Three advantages of the TOEFL® Junior™ test
• Because the TOEFL Junior test is a global assessment, it offers objective information about a student's English language skills to support placement decisions after admission to schools or in any country using bilingual approaches to instruction.
• The question topics are specific to middle school students and lower level high school students; from scene setting, such as interactions in school life, to themes that take into account their level of life experience.
• This test doesn't test look at how much the examinee has remembered, but how much they can use in practice (proficiency). This test can measure practical English abilities and communication skills.
• Together with a score, a level is provided linking the score to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
• Referral to books which are suitable for the reading comprehension level of examinees from working with Lexile (an online program that can search for recommended books depending on the individual's level) which is also used in grade assessment in schools in the U.S. Encourages increased reading comprehension in examinees.
■ The future business plan of GC&T
In Japan, the TOEFL Junior test will start in earnest from this fall mainly in schools. Along with concentrating on English and international education and broadening the horizons of organizations holding the test, such as middle schools and lower level high school students in Japan that are serving to introduce the TOEFL Junior test, GC&T are looking for business operators to be responsible for test management in a partnership. GC&T are aiming to steadily increase the degree of recognition of the test and to expand the test to the general public.
■ Inquiries relating to press releases
Public Relations Department Kumon Group Public Relations Team
4F Gobancho Grand Building, 3-1 Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0076
TEL 03-3234-4401 FAX 03-5210-7876
Kumon Group website http://www.kumongroup.com/
Previous press releases http://www.kumongroup.com/press/
■ Inquiries related to details and the introduction of the TOEFL® Junior™ test
Global Communication & Testing: Administration Office for the TOEFL® Junior™ Test
2F Gobancho Grand Building, 3-1 Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0076
TOEFL® Junior™ official website http://toefljunior.jp/
This press release was originally written for the Japanese media.