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1. Representative tasks
• Specify all possible content
• Include a representative sample of the specified content when setting
2. Elicit a valid sample of oral ability
Choose appropriate techniques
Plan and structure the testing carefully
3. Ensure valid and reliable scoring
Create appropriate scales for scoring
Calibrate the scale to be used
Follow acceptable scoring procedures
Content of the Cambridge CCSE Test Oral Interaction
Operation content specification.
Expressing: like, dislike
Directing: advising, instructing
Describing: actions, events
Eliciting: information, help
Types of text: discussion
Dialect, accent and style: unspecified
The categorization of the operations (here referred to as skills) is
based on Bygate (1987)
Provide personal information
Justify or support statements or opinions of other speakers
Skills in managing interactions
Change the topic of an interaction
Give turns to other speakers
Come to a decision
Types of text
Other speakers (addresses)
Equal or higher status
Known or unknown
Topics familiar or interesting to the candidates
Dialect British or American English
Accent RP, Standard American
Style formal and informal
Vocabulary range Non-technical, except as the result of preparation for
Rate of speechVaries according to the task
1. Candidate talks with teacher from their own
institution. AIM elicit describing, explaining
2. Candidates talk- after some time teacher joins.
AIM elicit exchanging opinions and justifying.
Pay attention to LEVEL 4 CCSE (Cambridge Certificates in
Communicative Skills in English) The test has two sections:
There are three general formats
1. Format 1 interview
The most common format
1 serious drawback the candidate speaks to a superior and is unwilling to take
Useful techniques to solve this problem:
Questions and request information:
Requests for elaboration: what exactly do you mean? What would be a
good example of that?
Appearing not to understand: i´m sorry but I don´t quite follow you.
Invitation to ask questions: is there anything you would like to ask me?
Abrupt change of topic
Pictures useful for descriptions
Role play AIM elicit natural languageExample:
A friend invites you to a party on an evening when you want to stay at home
and watch the last episose of a television serial. Thank the friend (played by
the tester) and refuse politely.
Interpreting it can test:
production ( the candidate tries to convey the meaning of what the native
comprehesion (the candidate attemps to convey what the visitor is saying)
Prepared monologue only if prepared presentations is something
required by the candidate
Reading aloud only if it has been a course objective
2. Format 2 Interaction with fellow candidates
Advantage elicits language that is appropriate to exchanges
between equals; candidates feel more confident.
Problem The performance of one candidate is likely to be
affected by that of the others.
Better not to have more than two candidates interacting.
Possible techniques to use:
Role play: tester is an observer difficulty imagining the
teacher as a friend.
3. Format 3 Responses to audio- or video- recordings
Use of the same computer generated or audio/video
Disadvantage: INFLEXIBILITY—> no way of following up
A good source of techniques ARELS Examination in
Spoken English and Comprehension, which incluse:
Described situations: example: You are walking through
town one day and you meet two friends who you were
sure had gone to live in the USA. What do you say?
Remarks in isolation to respond to: example there is a
good film on TV tonight.
1. Timing make the oral test as long as is feasible.
2. Plan the test.
3. Give the student many ways of being assessed.
4. Have a second tester present.
5. The task asked, should be expected.
6. Good acoustic.
7. Put the candidates at their ease so that thet can show what they are
8. Collect enough relevant information.
9. Give enough talking time to the candidate.
10.Select interviewers carefullt and train them.
Testers should avoid be seen making notes on the
1. Background and over view
2.Assignig candidates to levels
3. Conducting interviews
Examples: 1, 2
APPROPRIACY The use of language
RANGE Vocabulary, language available to the
FLEXIBILITY Adaptation to changes at the
SIZE Capability of making lenghty and
complex contributions where appropriate
great care must be taken into account to ignore personal qualities of the candidates.
Assessing group oral presentation.
Methodology and Resources for English
Craeted by students.
• Assessing oral abilities is not easy.
• It takes time and effort to obtain valid and reliable
• It depends on individual institutions the appropriatness
of content, rating scales levels, elicitation of techniques.
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