University of Leicester
2012YiJEdD.pdf (2.98 MB)

Comparing Strategic Processes in the iBT Speaking Test and in the Academic Classroom

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posted on 2013-01-10, 10:45 authored by Jong-il Yi
The study developed from realisation that there is no information available about strategies or processes in the iBT speaking scoring rubrics, although ETS (Educational Testing Service) claims that the iBT speaking test is designed to measure strategic processes, which is one constructs of academic proficiency. Therefore, the study investigates which strategic processes are used to complete given speaking tasks. This would provide evidence to help in the evaluation of the validity claims proposed by the test designers. Six Korean participants, studying at English-medium universities, completed 2 independent tasks and 2 integrated tasks both in a test and in their class. Participants’ speech samples were collected during the performances and stimulated recall verbalisation was conducted after they had completed the tasks. Speech samples were coded into five categories: approach, compensation, cognitive, metacognitive strategies and feelings. Consequently, the study examined how strategies reported through stimulated recalls were present in actual speech. The findings showed that metacognitive strategies were used most frequently under both conditions. Fair-level speakers employed more strategies in the test, while good-level speakers used more strategies in the class. Moreover, integrated task types elicited more strategy use for both conditions. Speakers reported that they felt significantly more negative under test conditions than in the class. More importantly, two conditions shared 67.74% of the strategy types, and 84% of the strategy types used in the test were also used in the classroom, which may strengthen the validity of the iBT speaking test in terms of strategy use. Finally, evidences of strategy use were identified in actual speech, which can open the way to operationalised strategy use assessment in speaking test. However, the figure of evidenced strategy use was very low: 5.28% and 2.66% respectively in the test and in the class. It is recommended that future research be carried out with a large number of participants in order to generalise strategy use in speaking performance. Moreover, further studies might be conducted to examine the significance of observable strategic evidence in speech, to inform decisions to include strategies in the scoring rubrics.



Fulcher, Glenn; Rogerson-Revell, Pamela

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • EdD



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