Discourse and assessment

McNamara, Tim, Hill, Kathryn, & May, Lynette A. (2002) Discourse and assessment. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 22, pp. 221-242.

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Many contemporary currents in applied linguistics have favored discourse studies within assessment; there have been calls for cross-fertilization with other areas within applied linguistics, critiques of the positivist tradition within language testing research, and the growing impact of Conversation Analysis (CA) and sociocultural theory. This chapter focuses on the resulting increase in discourse-based studies of oral proficiency assessment techniques. These studies initially focused on the traditional oral proficiency interview but have since been extended to new test formats, including paired and group interaction. We discuss the research carried out on a number of factors in the assessment setting, including the role of the interlocutor, candidate, and rater, and the impact of tasks, task performance conditions, and rating criteria. Recent research has also concentrated more specifically on the assessment of pragmatic competence and on the applications of technology within the assessment of spoken language, including the comparability of semidirect and direct methods for such assessment and the use of computer corpora.

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ID Code: 26547
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: discourse analysis, speaking tests, oral proficiency assessment, conversation analysis
DOI: 10.1017/S0267190502000120
ISSN: 0267-1905
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics (200401)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 29 Jul 2009 03:11
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:05

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