Testing Oral Ability. TESTING FOR LANGUAGE TEACHERS by Arthur Hughes. Basic Problem in Testing Oral Ability. Tasks that form a representative sample of the population of oral tasks that we expect candidates to be able to perform.
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Testing Oral Ability TESTING FOR LANGUAGE TEACHERS by Arthur Hughes Testing for Language Teachers
Basic Problem in Testing Oral Ability • Tasks that form a representative sample of the population of oral tasks that we expect candidates to be able to perform. • The tasks should elicit behavior which truly represents the candidates’ ability. • The samples of behavior can and will be scored validly and reliably. Testing for Language Teachers
REPRESENTATIVE TASKS We will begin by looking at the specified content of the Cambridge CCSE Test of Oral Interaction 1.Operations - Expressing - Directing - Describing - Eliciting - Narration - Reporting Testing for Language Teachers
2. Types of text Discussion 3. Addressees ‘Interlocutor’ (teacher from candidate’s school) and one fellow candidate 4. Topics Unspecified 5. Dialect, Accent and Style Also unspecified It can be seen that the content specifications are similar to those for the Test of Writing Testing for Language Teachers
ELICIT A VALID SAMPLE OF ORAL ABILITY Choose appropriate techniques Testing for Language Teachers
Plan and structure the testing carefully 1. Make the test as long as feasible. 2. Plan the test carefully. 3. Give the candidate as many ‘fresh starts’ as possible 4. Use a second tester for interviews. 5. Set only tasks and topics that would be expected to cause candidates no difficulty in their own language. 6. Carry out the interview in a quiet room with good acoustics. 7. Put candidates in their ease so that they can show what they are capable of. 8. Collect enough relevant information. 9. Do not talk to much. 10. Select interviewers carefully and train them. Testing for Language Teachers
ENSURE VALID AND RELIABLE SCORING • Create appropriate scales for scoring • Calibrate the scale to be used • Train scorers (as opposed to interviewers) • Follow acceptable scoring procedures Testing for Language Teachers
CONCLUSION • The accurate measurement of oral ability is not easy. • To obtain valid and reliable results, it takes considerable time and effort including training. • The appropriateness of content, of rating scales levels, and of elicitation techniques used in oral testing will depend upon the needs of individual institutions or organizations. Testing for Language Teachers