The relationship between speaking features and band descriptors: A mixed methods study

Seedhouse, Paul, Harris, Andrew, Naeb, Rola and Üstünel, Eda (2014) The relationship between speaking features and band descriptors: A mixed methods study. Project Report. IELTS Partners.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: https://www.ielts.org/teaching-and-research/resear...

Abstract

This study looked at the relationship between how candidates speak in the IELTS speaking test and the scores they were given. We identified the features of their talk which were associated with high and low scores.

The research focus was on how features of candidate discourse relate to scores allocated to candidates, and the overall aim was to identify candidate speaking features that distinguish proficiency levels in the IELTS speaking test (IST). There were two research questions:
1.The first noted that grading criteria distinguish between levels 5, 6, 7 and 8 in the ways described in the IELTS speaking band descriptors and asked to what extent these differences are evident in ISTs at those levels. In order to answer this research question, quantitative measures of constructs in the grading criteria were operationalised and applied to the spoken data (fluency, grammatical complexity, range and accuracy).
2.The second question asked which speaking features distinguish tests rated at levels 5, 6, 7 and 8 from each other. This question was answered by working inductively from the spoken data, applying Conversation Analysis (CA) to transcripts of the speaking tests. The dataset for this study consisted of 60 audio recordings of IELTS speaking tests. These were transcribed, giving a total of 15 tests for each of the score bands (5, 6, 7, 8).

The quantitative measures showed that accuracy does increase in direct proportion to score. Grammatical range and complexity was lowest for band 5, but band 7 scored higher than band 8 candidates. The measure of fluency employed (pause length per 100 words) showed significant differences between score bands 5 and 8. The qualitative analysis did not identify any single speaking feature that distinguishes between the score bands, but suggests that in any given IELTS speaking test, a cluster of assessable speaking features can be seen to lead toward a given score.

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: IELTS speaking test, assessable speaking features, discoursal features, conversation analysis, spoken interaction, second language acquisition
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 13:05
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2018 13:05
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33470

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Policies: NRL Policies | NRL University Deposit Policy | NRL Deposit Licence