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Is there a strong match between the construct of general proficiency in the minds of native speaker non-teachers and native speaker teachers? An exploratory study

[M.A. thesis]

Gautschi, Curtis

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Abstract In spite of the fact that assessment criteria in general proficiency testing (GPT) is an area of extreme importance, being the expression of the underlying general proficiency construct, little has been said in the literature regarding the source of such assessment criteria. Unfortunately, even less has been done towards answering the important question of whether the application of exclusively teacher-based perceptions to GP assessment criteria is sound, given the act that context of use and test interpretation involves the general public. This paper outlines a rater cognition study that explored the GP construct by examining unguided reactions of 2 non-teacher native speakers (NSs) with 2 NS teachers. Notable quantitative and qualitative differences were found. The findings suggest that the construct of GP as rooted in the perspectives of teachers trained in the use of rating scales has questionable utility to the actual contexts where GP test scores will be interpreted, and where the abilities measured in GP tests will actually be used.
Keywords aptitude test; test evaluation; language instruction; teacher rating; knowledge of languages; linguistics; assessment criteria; behavior; teacher; mother tongue; foreign language teaching; subject didactics
Classification System of Qualification; Science of Literature, Linguistics
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages 93 p.
Status Primary Publication; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works