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ERIC Number: EJ876399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
A Microanalytic Perspective on Discourse, Proficiency, and Identity in Paired Oral Assessment
Lazaraton, Anne; Davis, Larry
Language Assessment Quarterly, v5 n4 p313-335 2008
The increasing popularity of paired format in oral testing has engendered legitimate scrutiny of its reliability and validity as compared with the more traditional interviewer-interviewee arrangement. Although characteristics such as the gender, cultural/L1 background, and language proficiency of one's interlocutor likely affects the discourse produced with a partner, the question remains whether this interlocutor effect influences scores on the test. In this article, the construct interlocutor effect is further examined. Initially, transcript data from two large-scale speaking tests were analyzed by working backward from testtaker scores to locate discourse features to support those scores; identity formulations, such as "proficient" and "competent," as constructed in and through the discourse test takers produce, emerged as a salient feature of the talk. Specifically, we posit that a test taker brings a language proficiency identity to a test task, and this identity is constructed, mediated, and displayed in the talk. We argue that "proficiency" is fluid, in that it will shift--on a turn-by-turn basis--based on who we are talking to in a second language and what sort of identity(ies) we bring to and are mediated in that interaction. It is this aspect of the interlocutor effect that merits more attention. (Contains 4 footnotes 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