ERIC Number: ED343405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Is Equality and Independent Thinking Possible in an Oral Test?
A Scottish study investigated qualities contributing to or detracting from an oral foreign language test's ability to test communicative competence in conversation. The study was undertaken in French, German, and Spanish second language classes in the third and fourth years of secondary school. Pupil discourse competence was assessed during verbal tests involving role-playing. Instances of pupil initiation of comments that changed the direction of the conversation were used as indicators of independent thinking, and the balance of parts played by the teacher and student was used as an indicator of equality in the conversation. Interviews with the teachers and students, made after testing, were also analyzed. Some comparisons were made between a structured test and a more open-ended version, administered to the same students, and between two administrations of the open test. Results indicate that the more open test with optional suggestions gave students more opportunity to initiate, ask questions, introduce topics, take an equal share of conversation, or change conversational direction. It was also found that student perception of the test task and teacher/interlocutor behavior were significant influences in student performance. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Equality in Language Learning. Proceedings of the Nordic Conference of Applied Linguistics (5th, Jyvaskyla, Finland, June 4-7, 1987); see FL 020 065.