Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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As a test of oral proficiency for the higher levels, the interview seems very popular, but it is rather expensive, and psychometrists question its value.In this article, we discuss an alternative test of oral production, consisting of three parts; each part has a different form:part 1 - questions with key-words in the native language that delimit the content of the answer ( ± 4 1/2 min.);part 2 - questions about some fragments of picture stories ( ± 7 1/2 min.);part 3 - interview questions ( ± 6 1/2 min.).The test takes its content from the teaching syllabus and students can prepare for it.The answers of the students are recorded in the language laboratory and raters score these answers recorded on tape; each of the three parts of the test is scored by different rater: this offers the advantage of reducing the scoring task, yet every student will be rated by three different raters. The raters score separately each of the answers; for each part of the test, ten scores are given, so the final score is the sum of 30 item-scores. Rater reliability and inter-item consistency of this test for French as a second language were satisfactory: .894 and .901; still, two different groups of raters would take a different pass-fail decision with regard to one out of every seven students. In our opinion, time can be saved in order to discuss more thoroughly these really difficult cases: as the reliability of a test consisting of the two parts 1+3 or 2+3 were also rather satisfactory, the most economical solution is to score only two parts of the tests of all students; only if the first two raters disagree or if the two partscores are near the pass-fail borderline, a third rater should rate the third part and, after discussion, decisions can be taken.In their evaluation of the test, the majority of the students appeared to appreciate the varied form of the test and to agree on the idea of an oral production test that takes its content from the syllabus and that can be prepared for.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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