Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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In oral proficiency tests there are occurrences of trouble in interaction such as misunderstanding, non hearing or lack of understanding which may cause breakdown in communication. Within the context of the question-answer framework of an oral proficiency test this study investigates the interactive nature of spoken discourse between students and assessors when there is trouble in talk as perceived by the assessors, with a focus on how they accommodate to the students. A sample of twenty oral transcripts and tapes of the 1992 Victorian Certificate of Education (V.C.E.) Italian Common Assessment Task (C.A.T. 2) were randomly selected and examined. By using Conversation Analysis methodology the purpose of the study was to investigate in repair sequences types of assessor accommodation – how the assessors modified their utterances – the kinds of trouble perceived by assessors, what triggered assessor accommodation and whether the accommodations facilitated student response and participation. This study has implications for assessor training since it highlights which strategies are most successful for ensuring student understanding, participation and appropriate responses as well as demonstrating why and in which environments assessors accommodate.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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