Assessing Yemeni EFL learners’ Oral skills via the Conceptualization of Target Language Use Domain: A Testing Framework

Sami A. Al-wossabi


There is an evident lack of a comprehensive evaluation basis for Yemeni learners’ speaking skills in the English department, Hodeidah University. The present paper presents a detailed framework of oral assessment criteria that involves a description of target language use domains and then shows how such domains can be systematically related to test design. The framework takes as its main goal the development and description of a criterion referenced rating scale representing real-world criterion elements. The aim of the testing framework, therefore, is to ensure maximum appropriateness of score test interpretations and maximize the validity and fairness of local speaking tests. A five-point likert scale is carried out to elicit 10 trained raters’ perceptions of using the pilot scale. The research findings support the use and appropriateness of the scale as it aids raters identify underlying aspects of their learners’ oral discourse that cannot be observed in traditional discrete point tests.



Target language use domain (TLU), performance based-tests, real language use, rating sale, test fairness, construct validity, language descriptors

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