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ECC Test

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English Communication Capacity (ECC) Test Details

The ECC Test assesses a candidate’s ability to communicate with undergraduate students successfully in English, as an instructor. 

  • Candidates present a 15-minute lesson on a simple topic from their field. 
  • Lesson topics are created by academic unit faculty and are emailed to candidates 24 hours prior to the ECC Test date. There are at least two topics for candidates to choose from.
  • The ECC Test is performed before and evaluated by a panel of trained raters–an undergraduate student, a graduate student, a faculty panelist (depending on academic unit preference), and the ETCS Director.
  • Note that for the Fall 2021 testing cycle, ECC Tests will be completed in-person, with social distancing and masking protocols required.
  • The fee for each ECC Test is $50.00. This fee is used to pay the student panelists for each test.
  • Candidates can take the ECC Test one time per semester. These tests are offered toward the end of each semester, as specified below.
    • Late March - Early May
    • Late July - Late August
    • Late October - Early December
EAP international students studying

Skills Evaluated in the ECC Test

Because the ECC Test is a performance test of an individual's ability to successfully communicate using English teaching speech, candidates are evaluated for the following relevant language competencies: 

  1. Oral Competence: Ability to speak fluent, comprehensible English
  2. Listening Competence: Ability to understand questions and comments from students
  3. Interactional/Strategic Competence: Ability to interact/dialogue successfully in the performance context (i.e., an OU undergraduate classroom)
  4. Discourse Competence: Ability to coherently and cohesively sequence language

ECC Test Scores and Performance Features

The examinee demonstrates fully flexible capacity in each of the measured competencies (i.e., oral, listening, interactional/strategic, discourse). The examinee’s speech can be described as effortless and listener-friendly. While there may be a few non-systemic, minor limitations in the examinee’s language production, panelists can understand and interact with the examinee with complete clarity. 

The examinee demonstrates sustained capacity in each of the measured competencies. The examinee’s speech can be described as adequate but exhibits some lack of fluency and flexibility in language production. Though there are some limitations in the examinee’s language, these do not significantly distract from overall successful communication. Clarification is necessary at times, but the examinee can satisfactorily explain.

The examinee exhibits some difficulty, hesitation, and/or lapses in the measured competencies. The examinee’s speech can be described as approaching competence but with consistent limitations in areas such as pronunciation, fluency, and word choice. These limitations sometimes distract from and/or delay overall successful communication, but communication never breaks down. Panelists can negotiate clarification with the examinee when there are communication difficulties. 

The examinee has frequent lapses in oral and listening fluency and struggles linguistically to handle interaction from panelists and to deliver sustained, clear content. The examinee’s speech is notably inflexible, and language limitations can be described as systemic and distracting. There are times when communication breaks down and/or cannot be clarified successfully.

Further training is strongly recommended for examinees who receive the score of Level D.