Niagara Christian Collegiate (NCC) is a private boarding school in Fort Erie, Ontario. NCC educates Canadian and international students from more than 20 countries. Approximately 300 students in grades 6 to 12 follow the Ontario Curriculum and graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. When students graduate, they are fully prepared to enter university in Canada and worldwide.
The ESL program at NCC follows the Ontario Curriculum of five levels from “A” to “E”. In order to determine if an international student requires ESL support, and what level is needed, Director Jackie Angi-Dobos relies on the iTEP SLATE test because of its ease of use, instant results, test validity, and professional reports produced by iTEP.
“Prior to 2013, we were testing and placing students using a paper-based test, SLEP, but when that was no longer available, I began looking for a computer-based test to use in its place. When I found iTEP SLATE, I felt sure it would meet our needs,” she says.
“Students at NCC come from various parts of the world, some with different languages and different styles of learning. To facilitate language needs assessment and English ability, we needed a quick, reliable test. It was also important to have something professional to share with parents and students; the comprehensive report provided by iTEP is perfect.”
With only a short time for intake assessment and course selection – plus assessment for latecomers – they required a quick test. iTEP Slate testing is only 60 minutes for the Grammar, Listening, Reading sections. “We chose to conduct our own writing and speaking assessments to interact more personally with the students, to have an immediate placement by our ESL teachers, and to be more cost-effective. However, if students wish to test individually overseas before arrival on campus, we always require the full test – iTEP SLATE Plus – as we are satisfied with iTEP’s graders scoring for speaking and writing as well. It takes about 24 hours for those results to be available.”
Jackie loves the ability to test students anytime, and anywhere that has a secure computer station. “If I have a latecomer to test, or a student that may need retesting, it’s a very quick procedure. Usually, I place the individual student at a desk in my office so they can test without being concerned about class bells or student movement, and I can continue to monitor the student while taking care of office details.”
At NCC, Jackie Angi-Dobos sets up a spreadsheet of student results, which she shares with her ESL teachers, student services department, and administration. Once testing is complete, Jackie enters iTEP results and teachers enter speaking/writing results. Jackie then places the students in English levels, and the student services counsellors meet with students to help them choose classes. “Everyone is happy with this quick and easy method of testing and placing students.”
Results generated by iTEP are then shared with parents, students, teachers, and administration. The scores highlight key areas that students need to focus on in their classes.
Teachers, students, parents, and overseas agents are happy to have a professional test that they can reference online, direct students to take practice tests ahead of time if they wish, and that students can take independently before arrival if they would like to know their placement.
“iTEP Slate testing meets all of our international student testing needs. You will hear me recommending it to any high school that has English Language Learners. No guessing required, iTEP provides quick, accurate results.”