ERIC Number: ED396556
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Assessing L2 Sociolinguistic Competence: In Search of Support from Pragmatic Theories.
Zuskin, Robin D.
Second language tests claiming to assess communicative competence are widespread, despite the vague nature of the construct. Sociolinguistic or intercultural competence is gradually gaining attention in the classroom, but testing has not kept pace, partly because of difficulty in defining the related skills. An opinion is that speech act theory and politeness theory, which focus on social aspects of communicative exchange while remaining true to pragmatic principles, can inform development of appropriate tests. Role playing and simulation are authentic means of testing overall communicative competence. The Discourse Completion Test (DCT), designed to elicit responses to problematic, contextually specific prompts as participants role play their responses, is currently under analysis as both a research tool and a testing option, as an alternative to the oral proficiency interview. The DCT capitalizes on the benefits of role playing and applies them to assessment. However, contextual aspects of DCTs must be better developed to convey more about interlocutors' relationship (status, positional identities). While the communicative objectives of the DCT are in line with pragmatic principles, the method needs to better reflect clear pragmatic criteria. Contains 42 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Communicative Competence (Languages), Construct Validity, Intercultural Communication, Language Proficiency, Language Research, Language Skills, Language Tests, Linguistic Theory, Pragmatics, Role Playing, Semiotics, Simulation, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Speech Acts, Test Validity, Testing Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Discourse Completion Test; Politeness
Note: In: "Pragmatics and Language Learning," Volume 4. Selected papers presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning (6th, Urbana, IL, April 2-4, 1992); see FL 023 905.