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Interaction in Paired Oral Proficiency Assessment in Spanish

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

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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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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................................................ V LIST OF TABLES ..................................................................................................................................................... XI LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................................................................................................................. XIII CHAPTER 1 ................................................................................................................................................................. 1 1.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................. 1 1.1.1 Chapter overview ................................................................................................................................... 1 1.1.2 Rationale ................................................................................................................................................ 1 1.1.3 Context ................................................................................................................................................... 3 1.1.4 Statement of the problem ........................................................................................................................ 4 1.2 AIMS AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS ..................................................................................................................... 5 1.2.1 Aim of study ............................................................................................................................................ 5 1.2.2 Originality and scope of the study .......................................................................................................... 6 1.2.3 Research approach ................................................................................................................................. 7 1.3 THE STUDIES ..................................................................................................................................................... 8 1.3.1 Perceptions of peer interaction in a paired test (Study 1) ...................................................................... 8 1.3.2 Developing a data based empirical rating tool for peer interaction (Study 2) ...................................... 9 1.3.3 Research design ..................................................................................................................................... 9 1.4 OVERVIEW ...................................................................................................................................................... 11 1.5 CHAPTER SUMMARY ....................................................................................................................................... 12 CHAPTER 2: ISSUES RELEVANT TO ASSESSING SPEAKING IN PAIRS .................................................. 13 2.1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................... 13 2.1.1 Chapter overview ................................................................................................................................. 14 2.1.2 Background to testing speaking in pairs .............................................................................................. 15 2.1.3 The origin of tests in pairs .................................................................................................................... 17 2.1.4 Group oral speaking tests .................................................................................................................... 18 2.1.5 Support for paired and group interaction ............................................................................................ 20 2.1.6 Paired and group tests in use ............................................................................................................... 21 2.1.7 Issues with paired format ..................................................................................................................... 21 2.2 INTERLOCUTOR EFFECTS ON SCORES IN SPEAKING TESTS................................................................................ 24 2.2.1 The proficiency effect ........................................................................................................................... 24 2.2.2 The familiarity effect ............................................................................................................................ 25 2.2.3 The personality effect ........................................................................................................................... 27 2.2.4 Other interlocutor effects ..................................................................................................................... 28 2.3 INTERLOCUTOR EFFECTS ON DISCOURSE ......................................................................................................... 29 2.3.1 Interlocutor effects on discourse in interviews ..................................................................................... 29 2.3.2 Interlocutor effects on discourse in a paired task ................................................................................ 31 2.3.3 Increased functions in paired or group tasks ....................................................................................... 32 2.3.4 Conversation management in peer tasks .............................................................................................. 34 2.4 DEVELOPING RATING SCALES ......................................................................................................................... 35 2.4.1 Evidence-based scale development ...................................................................................................... 41 2.4.2 Data based scale methodology: issues with EBB rating scales............................................................ 41 2.4.3 Validating scales...

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