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Raters’ perceptions of second language peer interaction

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Linda Borger
Publicerad i Symposium on Second Foreign Languages in School Contexts, Lund University, December 12-13, 2016
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik
Språk en
Länkar www.tal.lu.se/wp-content/uploads/20...
Ämneskategorier Pedagogik, Engelska språket


In the Swedish national tests of foreign languages, oral communicative proficiency is assessed through a paired speaking test. Several advantages of this test format have been emphasized, such as authenticity, positive impact on classroom practices, and the potential of eliciting a wider range of interactional skills than in the examiner-led interview format (Brooks, 2009). Nevertheless, there are challenges regarding scoring. One concern is the effect test-takers may have on each other when interacting, and the unpredictability that this brings about. Another issue involves the co-constructive nature of interaction, which makes test-takers’ performances interdependent and potentially difficult to separate (May, 2011). In this presentation, theoretical perspectives on the assessment of foreign/second language interaction are discussed in relation to an empirical study of raters’ perceptions of peer interaction. Thirty-one raters assigned holistic scores to six audio-recorded conversations from a Swedish national test of English and provided written comments on features that contributed to their judgement. These written justifications were segmented and coded. Analyses indicate that the raters attended to a range of interactional strategies, for example topic extension moves, turn-taking management and interactive listening strategies. As part of the decision-making process, raters also frequently compared and contrasted the two test-takers’ performances, as well as reflected on the impact of the pairing of students. Examples from rater comments are given, focusing on separability of scores and assessment of co-constructed interaction. Finally, implications for teacher/rater training as well as rating scale development are considered.

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