Spreken in moedertaal en vreemde taal
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Rating of speaking ability in educational contexts is often confronted with the problem of selecting the most relevant criteria. Researchers as well as teachers are forced to design a rating scheme for each setting on an ad hoc basis. The most important characteristics of the setting are briefly discussed: purpose of rating, theoretical relevance of criteria, task definition, level of speaking ability and raters' working method. I will give examples of some rating schemes that were designed in different settings, including native, second language and foreign language speakers, in order to demonstrate the problems of selecting and defining rating criteria. Two perspectives for defining criteria are being distinguished: 1) a behavioral (using aspects of speaking behavior as basis), 2) a functional (using functions that speakers must fulfill as basis). Subsequently, I will give some suggestions for a theoretically founded scheme that can be used as a basis for selecting and defining rating criteria for several kinds of setting. The scheme is restricted to situations in which communication is the main purpose and speakers are evaluated on an individual basis. In these settings a functional perspective is regarded as more valid and efficient than a behavioral perspective in defining rating criteria. In conclusion an overview is presented of four rating dimensions from a functional point of view.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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