Turning speaking tasks into assessment activities
One effective way to assess your students’ speaking skills is to turn regular language practice tasks into tests. To do that, all you really need is some sort of feedback loop that provides insight into performance. With such a loop, common practice activities can be turned into assessment activities (Brown, 2013). Such an approach to oral testing can potentially open up new ideas for assessment that help your students improve their speaking ability. In this practical, theory-lite presentation, we’ll cover various strategies for creating such loops by looking at the pros and cons of typical holistic and analytic marking schemes. Guidance for creating effective feedback/marking rubrics will also be provided. Finally, practical issues regarding administration of in-class speaking tests will also be addressed. No previous experience with conducting speaking tests is required; any teacher interested in learning how to implement oral testing in the classroom is encouraged to attend.
Brown, J.D. (Ed.) (2013). New ways of classroom assessment, revised. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.
Jerry Talandis Jr. has been teaching English in Japan since 1993 and is currently a professor at the University of Toyama. His research interests include pragmatics, materials design, language testing, and professional development through classroom-based research. He is also co-author of the textbook Conversations in Class, 3rd Edition and How to Test Speaking Skills in Japan: A Quick-Start Guide.