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Thu, Apr 07



[Webinar] Linking Second Language Speaking Tasks and Language Testing

Peter Skehan, Honorary Research Fellow, The Institute of Education, University College London

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Time & Location

Apr 07, 2022, 6:00 PM GMT+8


About the Event

Link to the Zoom meeting:

(Meeting ID: 995 9201 1351)

PowerPoint | Bibliography

The presentation will try to relate two broad literatures: one concerned with research into second language task-based performance and the other focussing on the testing of speaking. To explore this, theories from each area will be briefly considered, and related to one another, covering proposals by Bachman, Hulstijn, and Levelt, and examining how each makes proposals about underlying competences, and also means of converting any such competences into performance. More theoretically, two propositions will be offered: that the difficulty of speaking tests needs to be considered separately for Conceptualiser and Formulator processes, and that the construct of Ability for Use is fundamental to understand how any underlying abilities are mobilised for actual performance. Turning to empirical work, findings from task research will be reviewed that may impact on second language test-task performance. There will be particular focus on planning, both pre-task and on-line, and on task characteristic effects. Brief discussion will also be provided of whether there are rating scale implications from task research; as well the central issue of whether task research results are replicated in testing contexts.

Peter Skehan is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Education, University College London. Previously he taught at universities in the U.K., Hong Kong, and New Zealand.  He is interested in second language acquisition, especially task-based performance, language testing, and foreign language aptitude. Recent publications have appeared in the Modern Language Journal on speaking style (with Francine Pang) and System, on developing speaking test-tasks in a Chinese context (with Sheila Luo). With Edward Wen and Richard Sparks he is currently editing a CUP volume on progress in understanding foreign language aptitude, scheduled for publication later this year.

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