I saw new ETS president Amit Sevak on The PIE Chat a few days ago. He spoke about many interesting topics, but a few things he mentioned about the TOEFL program are worth repeating here. They are:
- He said that “almost a million students every year take TOEFL”. That’s the first official reference to the number of test takers I have seen in a long time.
- He said that ETS would like to expand the use of TOEFL for migration purposes.
- He noted that ETS would like to expand the TOEIC program. That’s interesting, and I would love to hear some details about how ETS figures they can go about this.
At the end, he noted (emphasis mine):
“I’m increasingly focusing on the student… we are standing up not only for the test, but we’re standing up for the test taker. And starting to get into the mind of what are test takers interested in, what kind of experience do they want, what is the goal that they have of taking that assessment. So really being more customer centric or more student centric or more learner centric is a key component of it.”
That’s really key for the future of the TOEFL (and other ETS products). Some outside of the organization have suggested that in recent years ETS has backslid in this regard. I’ll dust off my blog post about test taker experience and post an updated version in the next day or two.