Testing Oral Language Proficiency of University EFL Students

| August 1, 2008
Title
Testing Oral Language Proficiency of University EFL Students

Keywords: Oral Language Proficiency, Objective Scores, Subjective Scores, Scoring Criteria

Authors
A. Majid Hayati
Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

Ehsan Askari
Azad University of Masjed Soleiman, Iran

Bio Data
A. Majid Hayati, an Associate Professor of Linguistics, holds a doctorate degree in Linguistics from the University of Newcastle, Australia. He teaches TEFL, Language Testing, Linguistics and Contrastive Analysis at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz. Hayati has published a number of articles in Roshd Magazine (Iran), Reading Matrix (USA), PSiCL (Poland), Asian EFL Journal (Korea), and Arts and Humanities in Higher Education (England).

Ehsan Askari received his MA in TEFL from Islamic Azad University of Ahvaz in 2006. He has been teaching English at Azad University of Masjed Soleiman, Iran since 2003. His special fields of interest are Testing English as a Second/Foreign Language, Linguistics and Translation.

Abstract
The present study aimed at developing a series of objective criteria for measuring and scoring the oral proficiency of EFL students in moving toward a more objective mode for scoring the oral language proficiency. To achieve this purpose, eighty students from the University of Masjed Soleyman in Iran were selected based on their availability and their successful passing of conversations one, two, and three. Then, their oral proficiencies were rated against a validated and newly-developed checklist. The obtained scores were compared with the group’s performance in their previous conversation courses. Result indicated a low correlation between the two groups of scores. It was also proved that the subjective measures were not reliable enough to indicate the students’ abilities in terms of oral language proficiency.

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See pages: 26-38

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 29