From July 2012 to July 2013
Project Leader(s): Paul Seedhouse
Sponsors: British Council/IELTS
Project Summary (i.e. summary of aims, significance and expected outcomes in no more than 100 words) :
The aim is to identify speaking features that distinguish proficiency levels in the IELTS Speaking Test, an important issue for test validation processes. The research questions are:
1) The grading criteria in the Speaking Band descriptors distinguish between levels.. To what extent are these differences evident in Tests at those levels?
2) Which speaking features distinguish Tests rated at different levels from each other?
For question one, quantitative measures of constructs in the grading criteria are applied to data. The second question is answered by working inductively from the data. Outcomes include a report and a database.
Research methodology to be used:
A mixed methods combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. For the first research question, quantitative measures of constructs in the grading criteria are applied to the spoken data. The second question is answered by working inductively from the spoken data, using Conversation Analysis of transcripts from IELTS Speaking Tests.
Professor Paul Seedhouse