Developing tools for learning oriented assessment of interactional competence: Bridging theory and practice

May, L., Nakatsuhara, F., Lam, D. and Galaczi, E. (2020) Developing tools for learning oriented assessment of interactional competence: Bridging theory and practice. Language Testing, 37(2), pp. 165-188. (doi: 10.1177/0265532219879044)

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In this paper we report on a project in which we developed tools to support the classroom assessment of learners’ interactional competence (IC) and provided learning oriented feedback in the context of preparation for a high-stakes face-to-face speaking test. Six trained examiners provided stimulated verbal reports (n = 72) on 12 paired interactions, focusing on interactional features of candidates’ performance. We thematically analysed the verbal reports to inform a draft checklist and materials, which were then trialled by four experienced teachers. Informed by both data sources, the final product comprised the following: (a) a detailed IC checklist with nine main categories and over 50 sub-categories, an accompanying detailed description of each area and feedback to learners, which teachers can adapt to suit their teaching and testing contexts; and (b) a concise IC checklist with four categories and bite-sized feedback for real-time classroom assessment. Interactional competence, a key aspect of face-to-face communication, is under-researched and under-explored in second/foreign language teaching, learning, and assessment contexts. This in-depth treatment of it, therefore, stands to contribute to learning contexts through raising teachers’ and learners’ awareness of micro-level features of the construct, and to assessment contexts through developing a more comprehensive understanding of the construct.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/ or publication of this article: This study is funded through the Cambridge English Funded Research Programme, Round 7 (2016–2017).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lam, Dr Daniel
Authors: May, L., Nakatsuhara, F., Lam, D., and Galaczi, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Language Testing
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1477-0946
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Language Testing 37(2): 165-188
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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