TOSP - a demonstration of the test in English

Newly-arrived minority pupils are not a homogenous group of learners. They bring with them all the disparities in education that exist in their home countries - disparities that lead to unequal learning-outcomes. Some pupils have attended excellent schools with high-quality teaching and have acquired an adequate knowledge-base which they can build upon when starting at school in Norway. Others, especially those who come from poor, war-torn countries, may have had their education disrupted, leading to a knowledge-gap between them and their classmates. Yet others may have no schooling at all.

The purpose of the TOSP-test is threefold: to help teachers assess the pupils' linguistic and cognitive skills when they start school in Norway, to help teachers assess the pupils' progress in acquiring skills in the Norwegian language while they attend special language classes and finally, to help teachers ensure a good transition to ordinary education.

The TOSP-test maps knowledge that newly-arrived pupils in Norway have acquired about objects, events, people and places in their surroundings. They may have acquired this knowledge at home, from friends, at school, or even on their own, both before they came to Norway and afterwards. The TOSP-test also maps how they organize and classify this knowledge.

TOSP is a bilingual test. Verbal skills in both the mother tongue and Norwegian are mapped. An early testing of newly-arrived pupils in their mother tongues is recommended. Their performance on the mother tongue-test can be of great prognostic value when assessing development of skills in Norwegian as a second language. According to "The Common Underlying Proficiency" model for bilingualism developed by Jim Cummins (2000), language transfer to a second language will occur faster among pupils who have a good knowledge of their mother tongue.

The digital version of TOSP-test is available in 15 languages: Norwegian Bokmål, New Norwegian, Arabic, Dari, English, Kurdish Kurmanji, Kurdish Sorani, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Somali, Thai, Tigrinya and Ukranian. The contents of the tests in the mother tongue and Norwegian are identical.

As minority pupils learn more of their second language, their skills in the language can be mapped with the help of the TOSP-test in Norwegian. The purpose of mapping knowledge in both languages is to help teachers adapt their teaching to the needs of individual pupils.

There are two versions of the test - TOSP grade 1 to 5 and TOSP grade 6 to 10. Both versions consists of four subtests:

In addition to the above four tests, TOSP grade 1 to 5 has a fifth test called Reading Skills, which is for pupils in grade 3 to 5.

Before each subtest, instructions and examples of how to proceed to complete the subtest are given. Pupils who have poor reading skills are allowed to answer questions orally.

TOSP is not a spelling test. Some students, when writing the answer, may misspell certain words. When this is the case, the test leader can intervene and help the student to spell the word correctly. This is important as the score on the various subtests depend on the pupil's answer being spelled correctly. If they want, pupils can answer all the questions in lower case only.

There is no time limit for completing the subtests, but the pupils are advised to not spend too much time answering each question. If they feel they do not know the answer to a question, they can simply move on to the next question. It takes approx. two hours to complete all the subtests on TOSP.

Click on "Next page" to start seeing the four subtests of the TOSP-test, grade 1 to 5.

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