NEAS Endorsement News

Congratulations to Duolingo English Test!

The Duolingo English Test is a fast and convenient way to certify a candidate’s English language proficiency for academic studies or professional use. The test is taken online, and results are available within 48 hours. It assesses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, and is accepted by thousands of universities and institutions around the world. Since 2020, Duolingo English Test has been accepted by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

NEAS is pleased to assess and endorse the Duolingo English Test in the category of Quality Products and Services (Area K). The Quality Principles of Area K focus on these features of the target Product and Service: its underlying research; its fulfilment of purpose; its processes for maintaining quality; its uniqueness and innovation; and its contribution to the ELT community. Detailed information on Area K of the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework can be referenced here: 

 The developers of the Duolingo English Test publish extensively on their research in computer adaptive test-taking and engage widely with stakeholders in discussions regarding the requirements for security and psychometric quality. The clear benefit to candidates is the removal of barriers to test taking. The “take anywhere, anytime” ethos of the Duolingo English Test results in impressive time efficiencies, achieved through automated, adaptive selection of questions, tailored specifically to the candidate’s performance. 

 Use of AI to generate the test items is cutting edge. Subject matter experts leverage machine learning models to create a deep pool of items. As part of the question item generation process, all content is reviewed by a panel for fairness and bias. Test score reliability is checked through an analysis of repeat candidate results and an AI quality assurance system monitors each test administration. Ongoing research is undertaken to compare the validity of Duolingo English Test scores against major tests used in market. Test validity is analysed according to the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. It was notable that Duolingo’s Access Program waives its fees for eligible low-income and refugee candidates.

March 2023