• Computer delivered listening tests: a sad necessity or an opportunity?

      Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2017-07-06)
    • Examiner interventions in oral interview tests: what are the listening demands they make upon candidates?

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2012-11-18)
    • How much does test-takers’ listening proficiency matter in oral interview tests?

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo; University of Bedfordshire (2011-05-08)
    • Investigating examiner interventions in relation to the listening demands they make on candidates in oral interview tests

      Nakatsuhara, Fumiyo (John Benjamins, 2018-08-08)
      Examiners intervene in second language oral interviews in order to elicit intended language functions, to probe a candidate’s proficiency level or to keep the interaction going. Interventions of this kind can affect the candidate’s output language and score, since the candidate is obliged to process them as a listener and respond to them as a speaker. This chapter reports on a study that examined forty audio-recorded interviews of the oral test of a major European examination board, with a view to examining examiner interventions (i.e., questions, comments) in relation to the listening demands they make upon candidates. Half of the interviews involved candidates who scored highly on the test while the other half featured low-scoring candidates. This enabled a comparison of the language and behaviour of the same examiner across candidate proficiency levels, to see how they were modified in response to the communicative competence of the candidate. The recordings were transcribed and analyzed with regard to a) types of examiner intervention in terms of linguistic and pragmatic features and b) the extent to which the interventions varied in response to the proficiency level of the candidate. The study provides a new insight into examiner-examinee interactions, by identifying how examiners are differentiating listening demands according to the task types and the perceived proficiency level of the candidate. It offers several implications about the ways in which examiner interventions engage candidates’ listening skills, and the ways in which listening skills can be more validly and reliably measured when using a format based on examiner-candidate interaction.
    • Rethinking the second language listening test : from theory to practice

      Field, John (Equinox, 2019-03-01)
      The book begins with an account of the various processes that contribute to listening, in order to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by second language learners. This information feeds in to a new set of descriptors of listening behaviour across proficiency levels and informs much of the discussion in later chapters. The main body of the book critically examines the various components of a listening test, challenging some of the false assumptions behind them and proposing practical alternatives. The discussion covers: the recording-as-text, the recording-as-speech, conventions of test delivery, standard task formats and item design. Major themes are the critical role played by the recorded material and the degree to which tests impose demands that go beyond those of real-world listening. The following section focuses on two types of listener with different needs from the general candidate: those aiming to demonstrate academic or professional proficiency in English and young language learners, where level of cognitive development is an issue for test design. There is a brief reflection on the extent to which integrated listening tests reflect the reality of listening events. The book concludes with a report of a study into how feasible it is to identify the information load of a listening text, a factor potentially contributing to test difficulty.
    • Towards a profile of the academic listener

      Field, John; University of Bedfordshire (2018-03-14)