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ERIC Number: EJ876395
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
Perceptions of Examiner Behavior Modulate Power Relations in Oral Performance Testing
Plough, India C.; Bogart, Pamela S. H.
Language Assessment Quarterly, v5 n3 p195-217 2008
To what extent are the discourse behaviors of examiners salient to participants of an oral performance test? This exploratory study employs a grounded ethnographic approach to investigate the perceptions of the verbal, paralinguistic and nonverbal discourse behaviors of an examiner in a one-on-one role-play task that is one of four tasks in an oral performance test. Candidates were international graduate students who were prospective teaching assistants. Video recordings of the test were reviewed in separate feedback sessions with the candidates, one participating and one nonparticipating examiner. These sessions were then reviewed by a researcher who was not involved in either the initial test or in the collection of feedback. Findings indicate that the verbal, paralinguistic, and nonverbal behaviors of examiners are indeed salient to participants and nonparticipants in the testing event. In fact, candidates found these behaviors to be meaningful in terms of their comfort level during the test task and in terms of their perception of the realism of the interaction. Drawing on the concept of footing, the various positions or roles taken by participants in an oral exchange, it is argued that these perceptions and interpretations may then serve to reduce the unequal power relationship inherent in oral performance tasks. The study suggests implications for the development of oral performance tests and for the training of examiners. (Contains 1 footnote and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A