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Interaction in Paired Oral Proficiency Assessment in Spanish

Rater and Candidate Input into Evidence Based Scale Development and Construct Definition


Ana Maria Ducasse

Defining the construct of interaction for paired assessment purposes has been difficult, despite the evolution of our view of language to include the social perspective of co-construction, and the fact that such discourse is increasingly taught and assessed. In this volume three sequenced studies define interaction in paired oral assessment through the verbal protocols of learners of Spanish and their assessors. Assessors then scale performances from videoed test performance data resulting in the development of an evidence based rating process which includes non-verbal interpersonal communication, interactive listening and interactional management.


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I would like to acknowledge and thank three groups: my study community at The University of Melbourne, my work community at La Trobe University and my home community of family and friends. I am indebted to my exemplary supervisor Professor Tim McNamara who has supported my research and has maintained interest in the project until the end. His infinite professional insight and breadth of knowledge have encouraged me to complete. He has suffered the tedium of many manuscripts and has tirelessly provided invaluable guidance even when on leave. I am most grateful to Dr Annie Brown who got me started on the PhD that forms the basis of this book by referring to a conference abstract in 2001 as a “thesis topic not a paper”. She proceeded to generously offer guidance when she was co-supervisor and has had continued interest in the project beyond the call of friendship or duty. Thanks also to Dr Paul Gruba and Dr Mary Stevens who read late drafts and offered practical, timely advice. The moral and collegial support provided by other post graduate students, in particular Dr Lyn May and Dr Kathryn Hill was much appreciated. Without the Spanish Program at La Trobe University there would not have been any research. Fortunately, I have supportive, interested colleagues who participated in animated discussion, task trials, devised scoring procedures and are currently using the EBB tool. I have been granted leave and have been funded to attend national and international conferences, thanks to the school and...

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