Six Years on: English Test for International Communication (ETIC)

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 a) Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Macau, China b) Department of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, BNU-HKBU United International College

2 Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China


This paper presents a critical evaluation of the English Test for International Communication (ETIC), a large-scale, computer-based, and criterion-referenced English language proficiency test developed by the China Language Assessment in 2016. The ETIC test battery comprises five categories: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior, and Translation, with the goal of assessing test-takers’ oral and written communicative language abilities in workplace contexts. Given that a revised version of ETIC with many structural changes has been in use since 2021, and the recent growth of interest in assessing communicative language abilities, a critical review of ETIC is warranted. Drawing on Kunnan’s (2018) recent model of test fairness and justice, this review primarily evaluates the usefulness and fairness of ETIC Basic, ETIC Intermediate, and ETIC Advanced. Appraisals reveal that ETIC encompasses the philosophy of fairness, justice, and usefulness in the development, administration, and scoring procedures. There is, however, room for improvement in various areas, such as establishing a test inquiry and appeal service and keeping the channels of communication open. As reviewers, we hope this article will assist language testing researchers and practitioners, teachers and students, or even potential test-takers in better understanding the unique ETIC assessment scene in China and spark more discussions about communicative language testing worldwide.