Oral-based rubrics design: A case study with undergraduate Spanish students in ESP settings

Carolina Girón-García, Claudia Llopis-Moreno

Abstract

During several decades, considerable attention has been paid to speaking assessment procedures. Probably, the reason for this relevance lies in the difficulties in dealing with oral assessment and in determining the adequate type of assessment (Campbell, Mothersbaugh, Brammer & Taylor, 2001; Stoynoff, 2013; Schwartz & Arena, 2013). The main aim of this article is to analyze to what extent students’ oral competences (such as their English competence and fluency) affect their peers’ English oral production. More precisely, we intend to study effective procedures to assess oral production in ESP contexts. In order to assess our students, we have designed a speaking-based rubric as the main instrument (called ‘Speaking Diagnostic Test’), based on previous research (Wilson, 2006; Spandel, 2006). A total number of 10 participants were selected in the 1st year course at Universitat Jaume I (Spain). In order to carry out our investigation two different instruments were used for data collection: (1) A ‘Student Questionnaire’ to reflect students’ preferences towards taking an oral exam with their peers; and a (2) ‘Speaking Diagnostic Test’ so as to assess students’ oral production in English concerning the following variables: fluency, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, coherence, and communicative ability. The results obtained from both questionnaires will help us identify to what extent students’ preferences in working with other classmates influence their English oral production and therefore to what extent these results could lead to the reformulation and modification of the assessment methods.

Keywords

ESP contexts, rubric, ‘Speaking Diagnostic Test’, oral production

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