Validating the revised Test of Spoken English against a criterion of

Validating the revised Test of Spoken English against a criterion of

28 Pages · 1999 · 446 KB · English

Validating the revised Test of Spoken. English against a criterion of communicative success. Donald E. Powers, Mary A. Schedl and Susan Wilson Leung.

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Validating the revised Test of Spoken English against a criterion of communicative success Donald E. Powers, Mary A. Schedl and Susan Wilson Leung Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ andFrances A. Butler University of California, Los Angeles, CA A communicative competence orientation was taken to study the validity of test- score inferences derived from the revised Test of Spoken English ( TSE ). To implement the approach, a sample of undergraduate students, primarily native speakers of English, provided a variety of reactions to, and judgements of, the test responses of a sample of TSE examinees. The TSE scores of these examinees, previously determined by of®cial TSE raters, spanned the full range of TSE score levels. Undergraduate students were selected as `evaluators' because they, more than most other groups, are likely to interact with TSE examinees, many of whom become teaching assistants. Student evaluations were captured by devising and administering a secondary listening test ( SLT) to assess students' understanding of TSE examinees' speech, as represented by their taped responses to tasks on the TSE. The objective was to determine the degree to which of®cial TSE scores are predictive of listeners' ability to understand the messages conveyed by TSE examinees. Analyses revealed a strong association between TSE score levels and the judgements, reactions and understanding of listeners. This ®nding applied to all TSE tasks and to nearly all of the several different kinds of evaluations made by listeners. Along with other information, the evidence gathered here should help the TSE program meet pro- fessional standards for test validation. The procedures may also prove useful in future test-development efforts as a way of determining the dif®culty of speaking tasks ( and possibly writing tasks ). I Introduction The Test of Spoken English ( TSE) is a measure of the oral language pro®ciency of non-native speakers of English. Its primary intended uses are 1 ) screening graduate teaching assistants; and Address for correspondence: Donald E. Powers, Principal Research Scientist, Educational Test- ing Service, Mail Stop 17-R, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ

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