What skills do we use every day? Normal every day communication Writing 9% Reading 16% Speaking 30% Listening 45%
And yet …. The assessment of listening abilities is one of the least understood, least developed and yet one of the most important areas of language testing and assessment. (Alderson & Bachman, 2001) “the poor cousin of the language skills” (Nunan)
Similarities between listening and reading Some similarities: Active and complex skills Involve a range of subskills (scanning, skimming, intensive, extensive) Involve the use of a range of strategies (inferencing meaning, predicting, etc.)
What aspects of listening are you assessing? 1. Listening comprehension of meaning in texts (surface meaning explicitly stated in texts) 2. Decoding of words/intonation patterns/ etc. 3. Comprehension of structural organisation of texts (e.g. connecting words, etc.) 4. Listening as scanning 5. Listening as skimming 6. Listening for main idea 7. Listening for details. 8. Listening extensively 9. Interpreting message 10. Inferencing meaning 11. Listening to a variety of input (formal, informal, transact interactional, variety of accents, speech rates, etc.) 12. Listening strategies 13. Attitudes to listening 14. ....
How do we assess listening? (1) Where suitable use instructional activities with a focus on assessment (coursebooks, normal classroom activities, internet, Video/DVD) Authentic assessment, e.g. Different kinds of spoken discourse (Formal / informal) Listener expectation and purpose Looking as well as listening (often) Ongoing, purposeful listener response
How do we assess listening? (3)Design of task Use format familiar to the students Don’t involve other aspects (focus on listening) Give context of situation in the rubrics Allow students time to read questions beforehand focus on info in the test and not issues which might be known due to background knowledge
Assessment Types for Listening Cloze-tests Multiple choice tests True / False Short answers Information transfer (e.g. form filling- diagram completion labelling, listen and draw, listen and colour) Ordering Listening logs Portfolio Self-assessment Peer-assessment Retellings Matching Observation (checklist /anecdotal records) Selecting / identifying specific information Note-taking