Assessing Individual and Group Oral Exams: Scoring Criteria and Rater Interaction

Özlem Yalçın-Çolakoğlu, Merve Selçuk


Criterion referenced tests of second language speaking performance are administered in different institutions using different procedures. The present study reports raters’ practices of second language speaking tests, in particular the correspondence between test-takers’ grades when assessed individually and in groups. Data derived from audio-recordings of raters’ (n=8) decision making process (scoring) in two test modes, post-test interviews and two sets of students’ (n=92) speaking scores were obtained from individual versus group discussion tasks. Although a grading rubric had been used, it was found that raters also relied on rubric irrelevant criteria when judging performances, which brings up the question whether the validity of the inferences is jeopardized.


Individual and Group Tasks, Rater, Rubric, Scoring criteria, Speaking

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