Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Ed. Specalist

Degree

Ed.S.

Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Carine M. Feyten

Co-Major Professor

Marcela van Olphen

Committee Member

Linda Evans

Committee Member

Wei Zhu

Keywords

language learning, foreign language, testing, speaking, oral provement

Abstract

The development of the speaking skill at the lower levels of proficiency is seldom assessed as a matter-of-fact in the foreign language classroom, for reasons of impracticality and difficulty of implementation. Although the practice of the speaking skill is an important part of current approaches to the teaching of foreign languages, issues of time and logistics often prohibit the direct evaluation of the skill in a manner consistent with best practices, which purport that practice and assessment must be closely aligned, and that students benefit from self-evaluation and teacher feedback. Classroom research has shown that a skill that is not assessed, although practiced in class, sends the implicit message that this skill is not as valued as others that are the object of evaluation. This project presents the rationale, background literature and methodology to use current computer technologies in an attempt to offset these preventative issues, and to offer foreign language students and teachers a flexible model to conduct evaluations of students’ oral development in a practical, authentic and valid manner, with opportunities for constructive feedback and tracking of students’ progress.

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