BELL: Belgian Journal of English Language and Literatures vol:2 pages:301-315
This article concerns placement testing for large groups of students at university who have to take a specific language course and who may not be helped by a standard proficiency test.
In the 1980s a good tool for placement testing was introduced: the C-test. Although it is widely known, it is not widely applied. On the one hand, the administration of the c-test may play a role. We have developed an authoring tool to facilitate the administration and reporting of the test.. This tool, which is freely available on the web, will be briefly explained. We tested it with teachers and students for test device, administration, correction, reporting and for use in an e-learning environment (Blackboard).
On the other hand, the validity of the c-test will also depend on the text input. We will argue that different text types and a better control of different examples of lexical difficulty are the basic requirements to build a database for a c-test for students of Business English. We have combined the use of the c-test with the WordClassifier, a freeware designed to determine the lexical difficulty of a text on the basis of lexical frequency analysis (for English). From this experience, we have derived