Dannae Del Campo – Gabriela Quezada
Listening Assessment Speaking Assessment Writing Assessment Reading Assessment
Listening comprehension is a
process of constructing meaning. It
is an inferential process.
The important thing to understand
is that spoken language is very
different from the written
a) Firstly, it comes from sounds.
Listeners must know the sound
system and they also must
understand the phonological
b) The structure of spoken
discourse is different. People
don’t speak in sentences; they
speak in idea units that are
strong together (expressions,
idioms). People hesitate when
c) Spoken language takes place in
real time. It means that the
processing must be automatic.
A speaking test is composed by
three parts: a task, a rating scale
and a rater.
There are three types of rating
scales, the intuitive ones, which
are made by people in some
meetings, the empirical ones in
which the idea is to collect
sample of language from the
students. And finally there are
the analytical ones, in which the
discourse analysis is used to
analyze what the student is
There are two types of
reliabilities in speaking tests: -
inter-rater reliability, the rater
needs to be coherent with the
way he/she assess in different
moments. Intra-raters reliability
To test writing you need that
the test taker actually writes,
a focus topic, the
specification of the audience,
a purpose, a method for
judging (rubric) and a trained
To make sure that the writing
is reliable you need to have
more than one task (item),
more than one judge, to
score different dimensions of
the text, to have more than
one writing occasion and to
have different scorings.
The teacher must think in
educational goals, curricula
and syllabus, they also need
to have more than one
writing occasion, to work
At the moment of assess reading,
it is relevant to keep in mind
more than one ability to test such
as scanning, skimming,
identification, among others.
When choosing a passage it is
important to consider the
purpose of the students, to be
presented in an authentic way.
Moreover, it should be as real as
We need to choose more than
one text in order to make the
assessment more reliable.
It is important to have more than
one item in the test in order to
give equal opportunities for the
How teachers must assess listening
The teacher must give the listener
some task. Based on the
performance of the test taker the
teacher makes an inference of the
level of listening comprehension.
Listening takes place for different
purposes. Listening comprehension
is an inferential process so it is
quite possible that people interpret
differently the same text.
Teachers must decide the type of
interactiveness in the test
(Interactive or Non-interactive).
Teachers should use the following
item tasks to assess listening:
dictation, statement evaluation
activities, pictures, comprehension
questions, summary of a passage,
gap filling task and information
Buck, G. (1998)
is when different raters can
agree with each other when
marking or grading.
What is speaking and what we
want to assess have to be explicit
in the rating scale.
To make more general
comments about what the
students will be able to do in the
Fulcher, G. (1998)
with other teachers of the
department, in order to share
pieces of writing and discuss
them. In this way, the
assessment will be not only
reliable but also valid.
Teachers must get all
information they can from
the assessment process.
Moreover, they have to
provide feedback with
positive comments to
learners. (can do statements)
Hamp-Lyons, L. (1998)
Multiple choice questions are
difficult to write because
sometimes they are ambiguous;
therefore, they need to be pre-
testing. A better option is short
answer question and selecting of
For advanced readers a good
option is gapped summary, in
which the students have to fill in
the gaps with the corresponding
word or phrase in the summary
of the reading.
Information transfer is another
good method in which students
need to say what they have
already read in a table or chart.
Clapham, C. (1998)
Fulcher, G. and Thrasher, R. Language Testing Videos. In association with ILTA, available: http://languagetesting.info.