HOW TO ASSESS EFL SPEAKING
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English can be divided into four skills. The productive skills are writing and speaking; the receptive skills are listening and reading. In the TEFL classroom we are concerned with teaching our learners how to make use of these skills to understand the language, but it is also necessary to assess our learners’ abilities in these skills.
Marking a reading or a listening test is generally quite easy because there should be a clear answer – right or wrong – but marking writing and speaking is more subjective and so more difficult. So how do you mark a learner’s speaking?
Firstly, you need to make the time. Doing speaking activities in which you are able to assess all your learners individually takes time, and it may be necessary to allocate work for the other students to complete while you are assessing individual students.
Then you need to decide exactly what task you want your students to do. Speaking covers a range of activities and you must choose one which your students are familiar with and which can be used appropriately for assessment. Examples of speaking tasks are: role-play, discussion and interview.
To be fair to your students, just as you cannot expect your students to carry out an unfamiliar task, so you cannot assess them if the activity involves speaking on an unfamiliar topic. You need to make sure the test tasks are an accurate reflection of their level.
In terms of the nitty-gritty of marking, to put it simply, there are 5 aspects to speaking that you need to be aware of when assessing speaking:
- Task completion
Vocabulary and grammar need to be considered with regard to range as well as accuracy, while fluency and pronunciation should be judged on how comprehensible the student is and how difficult or easy it is to understand them. Task completion is whether or not the student has accomplished the aim of the task.
If you consider these aspects and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5, you will be able to calculate a mark for each learner which should be an accurate reflection of their speaking skills.
Then, another important consideration is how you give feedback to your students. It is necessary to spend some time with each individual student to chat with them about their speaking. You will want to let them know their marks (because they always want to know) but elaborate more on their strengths and weaknesses. In this way the assessment becomes a diagnostic tool as well as an assessment tool.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.