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Assessing interactional skills in a paired speaking test: Raters’ interpretation of the construct

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Linda Borger
Publicerad i Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies
Volym 13
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 151–174
ISSN 1457-9863
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik
Sidor 151–174
Språk en
Länkar apples.jyu.fi/issue/view/29
Ämnesord construct operationalization, interactional competence, Swedish national test of English, paired speaking test, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
Ämneskategorier Språkstudier, Pedagogik

Sammanfattning

The operationalization of interactional competence (IC) within the paired speaking test format allows for a range of interactional skills to be tested. However, in terms of assessment, challenges are posed with regard to the co-constructed nature of IC, making investigations into raters’ perceptions of the construct essential to inform test score interpretation. This qualitative study explores features of IC that raters attended to as they evaluated performances in a paired speaking test, part of a Swedish national test of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Two groups of raters, 17 EFL teachers from Sweden, using national standards based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and 14 raters from Finland and Spain, using CEFR scales, rated six audio-recorded paired performances, and provided written comments to explain their scores and account for salient features. The findings of the content analysis indicate that raters attended to th ree main interactional resources: topic development moves, turn-taking management, and interactive listening strategies. As part of the decision-making process, raters also considered the impact of test-takers’ interactional roles and how candidates’ performances were interrelated. In the paper, interaction strategies that were perceived as more or less successful by raters are highlighted. The findings have implications for our understanding of raters’ operationalization of IC in the context of paired speaking tests, and for the development of

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