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ERIC Number: EJ976449
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0265-5322
A Psycholinguistic Approach to Oral Language Assessment
Van Moere, Alistair
Language Testing, v29 n3 p325-344 Jul 2012
This paper presents a framework for incorporating the assessment of psycholinguistic constructs into spoken language proficiency testing. Although response time and automaticity of language processing are vital factors in language acquisition, as constructs they are rarely explicitly assessed in language tests. It is proposed that efficiency of processing, although it does not appear in most models of communicative language competence, might be viewed as a language competence in its own right. In contrast to communicative approaches to testing which evaluate mastery of complex language structures or domain-specific vocabulary, an approach which emphasizes efficiency of processing evaluates the speed and accuracy with which a learner processes familiar language, as this provides equally useful information about their L2 proficiency. In a study to demonstrate this, the speech of 147 test takers was evaluated as they performed on conceptually simple and straightforward performance tasks such as elicited imitation. It was found that sentence repetition and sentence building tasks reliably separated test takers according to proficiency in a way that accounts for the trade-off between fluency, accuracy and complexity. While these tasks would not be considered communicative, they are psycholinguistically valid and also link to good practice in classroom language learning activities. (Contains 1 note, 1 figure and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong