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ERIC Number: ED553675
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 212
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-9658-7
Effects of Rater Characteristics and Scoring Methods on Speaking Assessment
Matsugu, Sawako
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northern Arizona University
Understanding the sources of variance in speaking assessment is important in Japan where society's high demand for English speaking skills is growing. Three challenges threaten fair assessment of speaking. First, in Japanese university speaking courses, teachers are typically the only raters, but teachers' knowledge of their students may unfairly influence scoring. Second, in many speaking classes, teachers are often native speakers of English who may not be appropriately trained. Third, conducting practical speaking assessment is a major concern in classroom. Semi-direct testing using digital recorders could solve such issue and achieve reliability and efficiency in speaking assessment (Qian, 2009). This study examined these sources of score variation--the effects of rater characteristics and scoring methods on speaking assessment by university instructors in Japan. Rater characteristics included scorers' knowledge of examinees and to a much lesser extent their native language differences. Scoring methods were live and delayed scoring with digital recorders. These factors were believed to be potential threats to fairness. Participants were the researcher and the instructors (N = 9) as well as students (N = 169) in nine classes in four universities. In oral skills classes in Japanese universities, students were given one speaking task scored by instructors live and recorded. Overall raters' knowledge of examinees, despite some perceived influence of knowledge of examinees, was not a significant source of variance. For scoring methods, despite some raters' preference for delayed scoring, there were no statistically significant findings between live and delayed scoring. The two groups of raters (7 English and 1 Japanese), not including the researcher, focused on different speech characteristics. These results suggested that variations in speaking scores were not derived from differences in rater characteristics and scoring methods. Implications include the following: instructors being the only rater depending on the purpose of assessment and circumstances, wider choices of speaking assessment methods to facilitate fairness and practicality, and possibly more involvement of Japanese instructors in teaching and assessing of speaking skills. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan