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4.1.2 the observation results

Table 4.2 displays oral test types used during the administration of the end-of-term speaking test for the second-year students (Term 2 – School Year 2002-2003 – Appendix 2). The information from this table is intended for evaluation of oral test types in use in the next sub-section 4.1.3

Oral test types
Direct interview Pre-arranged information gap Tests where the learner prepares in advance Mechanical /entirely predictable tests
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Table 4.2: Summary of Oral Test Types Used in the Achievement Speaking Test for the Second-Year Students (School Year 2002-2003)

Table 4.2 indicates that only one test type was in use, yet as discussed in 2.4.2 (Chapter 2), a speaking test, namely an achievement one intended to measure overall oral proficiency, that can be believed to be valid should be a combination of various oral test types, at least two.

The following is Table 4.3 presenting elicitation technique(s) employed to elicit the 10 students’ ability during the achievement test mentioned above, their topic number or test question, duration of their test performance, their interaction with the assessors. All these details were recorded and transcribed in Appendix 3.

Elicitation techniques involved in tests where the learner prepares in advance
Oral report Reading blank dialogue Retelling a story
Topic number Time(minutes) Interaction focus 1 8 5 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors 2 2 4.5 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors 3 1 5 Student’s presentation with 1 question raised by the assessor 4 8 3 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors 5 6 3 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors 6 2 2.5 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors 7 3 3.5 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors 8 5 2.5 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors 9 1 5 Student’s presentation with 2 questions raised by the assessor 10 4 3 Student’s presentation without any questions from the assessors

Table 4.3: Summary of the Students’ Oral Test Performance in the Achievement Speaking Test for the Second-Year Students

As can be seen in table 4.3, oral report, one of the three main elicitation techniques used to elicit test takers’ speaking ability through their performance on this kind of test – Tests where the learner prepares in advance (See, Chapter 2), was the only elicitation technique employed throughout this achievement test. Additionally, after most of the students finished their presentation, the assessors did not raise any questions except for students 3 and 9.

4.1.3 analysis of the results

The evaluation of TNU current oral testing practices is carried out in relation to four factors described in 4.1.1: (1) test design stage, (2) test operationalization stage, (3) test administration stage, and (4) use of test results.

  • Test Design Stage

As can be easily seen in Table 4.1, oral tests are explicitly identified as achievement ones from the very start. Obviously, clear identification of test type at the beginning of a course proves to be beneficial because the teachers can integrate the test content into the teaching program. As pointed out by Brown (1994), Heaton (1990), Hughes (1989) and Ur (1996), achievement tests should be integrated into the teaching program and related directly to the classroom lessons or units, the syllabus or curriculum. Therefore, information or indication of students’ performance on an achievement test reveals their achievement or progress at the end of a course of study (Bachman&Palmer, 1996), and an achievement test of speaking skill is of course a means of eliciting students’ progress in overall speaking ability after a course/term of study.

Questions & Answers

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