Market Overview

VIPKid and ETS Publish Results of Alignment Study Between Major Course Curriculum and the TOEFL Primary® Tests


Research findings demonstrate an increase in English language proficiency across VIPKid Major Course levels as measured by TOEFL Primary® tests

VIPKid, an industry-leading English-language learning education technology platform and ETS, the world's largest private, nonprofit educational assessment and research organization published a joint research report evaluating the appropriateness of using the TOEFL Primary® tests in Major Course, VIPKid's independently developed online one-on-one English foreign language curriculum.

The TOEFL Primary tests are part of the TOEFL® Family of Assessments offered by ETS. Major Course is VIPKid's flagship curriculum line that provides English instruction for children aged 4-15.

Results of the study concluded that, upon analysis of the score data, students demonstrated higher levels of English proficiency, as measured by the TOEFL Primary tests, relative to their progression through the Major Course curriculum. Analysis of this test score data revealed an overall tendency for students' scores to grow across curriculum levels. Altogether, the test score data showed that the TOEFL Primary tests are generally at the appropriate level of difficulty for VIPKid students working through the Major Course curriculum.

The study also found a satisfactory alignment between the VIPKid Major Course interactive slides and the tasks in the TOEFL Primary tests. To a large extent, the language skills, communication goals, and task types featured on the tests match the ones underlying and deployed in the English instruction provided by VIPKid.

"Our study contributes to the line of alignment research conducted between the TOEFL® Young Students Series, which consists of the TOEFL Primary® and TOEFL Junior® tests, and English curricula in different geographical contexts around the world," said Spiros Papageorgiou, managing senior research scientist at ETS. "We are also encouraged that our research contributes to the field of English language assessment for young learners by demonstrating a systematic approach to exploring the appropriateness of using an external assessment within a specific educational context."

This study follows VIPKid's establishment of its VIPKid Research Institute earlier this year. The VIPKid Research Institute is a branch of VIPKid made up of distinguished scholars, researchers, and curriculum & assessment experts who seek to understand the complexities of learning and teaching online, establish academic standards, and solve real-world problems for the future of education.

"We are thrilled to have worked with ETS and have validation of alignment between the learning activities of one of VIPKid's most popular educational offerings, and the TOEFL Primary® tests," said Professor Jun Liu, Chief Academic Officer at VIPKid and President of the VIPKid Research Institute. "This study is the first step in the burgeoning field of learning efficacy in digital learning platforms."

To read the full research report, "Exploring the Alignment Between a Curriculum and a Test for Young Learners of English," visit:

About VIPKid

VIPKid is a global education technology company that connects children with the world's best teachers for real-time online education. VIPKid's mission is to inspire and empower every child for the future. VIPKid envisions a global classroom that empowers students and teachers through personalized learning, connects cultures across the world and ignites a passion for lifelong learning. It believes that education is not one-size-fits-all, rather, all students are unique and the world is within their reach when connected with great teachers capable of personalizing learning and sparking curiosity. Founded in 2013 and formally launched in 2014, VIPKid has become China's market-leading online education startup, attracting investment from Tencent, Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Yunfeng Capital, Matrix Partners, Learn Capital, Northern Light VC and Bryant Stibel, among others. The VIPKid platform currently connects over 800,000 students with approximately 100,000 teachers in the U.S. and Canada.

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

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