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Interpreting scores of speaking - a study of rater profiles and ratings

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Linda Borger
Publicerad i The 6th Junior Researcher Meeting in Applied Linguistics 12th–14th May 2014, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Språk och litteratur, Engelska språket, Didaktik, Pedagogik

Sammanfattning

A challenge with the paired speaking test format is scoring reliability. In order to interpret test scores from this kind of performance assessment, it is important to explore how raters reach their decisions. The present study aims to examine the rating of English oral proficiency in a paired speaking test, part of a Swedish na- tional test of English. The first group of raters are Swedish teachers of English (n = 17), who made individual ratings of six audio-recorded paired conversations (twelve performances) in relation to national standards. In addition, two groups of external raters from two European countries (n = 14) assessed the same conver- sations in relation to corresponding CEFR scales from the Manual for relating Language Examinations to the CEFR (Council of Europe, 2009), the latter with the additional aim of making a small-scale and tentative comparison between Swedish performance standards and the CEFR levels. The raters produced notes while listening, summary comments after listening, and scores. Different as- pects of content in the notes and summary comments are analysed to possibly identify features of the performances salient to the raters. Furthermore, scores are analysed to examine rater profiles and issues of consistency. Finally, the relationship between comments and scores is focused upon. Initial analyses of scores show that the rank ordering of performances as well as the degree of variability of ratings are very similar between the Swedish and CEFR raters. Also, rater profiles are prominent in both groups, with clear signs of harshness and leniency. This paper will briefly discuss the design of the study, and then present findings from analyses of rater comments and scores. Moreover, some attention will be paid to the comparison between the Swedish national standards and the CEFR scales.

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