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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES    DƯƠNG THỊ HÒA “DESIGNING AN ENGLISH ORAL ACHIEVEMENT TEST FOR SECOND YEAR STUDENTS AT BAC NINH PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS UNIVERSITY” (THIẾT KẾ BÀI THI VẤN ĐÁP TIẾNG ANH CHO SINH VIÊN NĂM THỨ HAI TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC THỂ DỤC THỂ THAO BẮC NINH) MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS FIELD: English Teaching Methodology CODE: 601410 HÀ NỘI - 2011 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES    DƯƠNG THỊ HÒA “DESIGNING AN ENGLISH ORAL ACHIEVEMENT TEST FOR SECOND YEAR STUDENTS AT BAC NINH PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS UNIVERSITY” (THIẾT KẾ BÀI THI VẤN ĐÁP TIẾNG ANH CHO SINH VIÊN NĂM THỨ HAI TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC THỂ DỤC THỂ THAO BẮC NINH) MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS FIELD: English Teaching Methodology CODE: 601410 SUPERVISOR: Đỗ Bá Quý, MEd. HÀ NỘI - 2011 v TABLE OF CONTENTS STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP………………………………………………… I ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii ABSTRACT iii LIST OF TABLES………………………………………………………………… . . iv TABLE OF CONTENTS…………………………………… ……… … v PART A. INTRODUCTION 1. Rationale of the study………………………………………………………… …… 1 2. Aims of the study…………………………… …………………………… …… 2 3. Research questions……………………………… ……………………………… …. 3 4. Scope of the study ………………………………………………………………… … 3 5. Methodology…………………………………………………………………… 3 6. Design of the study…………………………………………………………………… 3 PART B. DEVELOPMENT Chapter 1. Literature review 1.1. Language testing………………………………………………………………… … 4 1.2. The role of testing……………………………………………………………… …. .5 1.2.1. Testing and teaching……… ……………………………………………… … 5 1.2.2. Purpose of language testing…………………………………………………. . . .6 1.3. Achievement test…………………………………………………………………… 7 1.3.1. Definition………………………………………………………………… 7 1.3.2. Kinds of achievement tests………………………………………………… 8 1.4. Criteria of a good test………………………………………………………………. . 9 1.4.1. Validity………………………………………………… …………… … 10 1.4.2. Reliability……………………………………………………………… … 11 1.4.3. Practicality……………………………………………………………… … 12 1.4.4. Discrimination……………………………………………………………. .12 1.5. Testing speaking skills……………………………………………………………… .12 1.5.1. What is a spoken test …………………………………………………… 12 1.5.2. What should be tested…………………………………………………… 13 1.5.2.1. Listening comprehension…………………………………………… … 13 1.5.2.2. Grammatical appropriacy…………………………………………… …14 1.5.2.3. Ease of speech and fluency……………………………………… … … .14 1.5.2.4. Content…………………………………………………………… …… .15 1.5.2.5. Conversational skill………………………………………………….…. .15 vi CHAPTER 2. Methodology 2.1. The current situation of English teaching and learning at BAC NINH UPES …… .16 2.2. Participants…………………………………………………………………………. .16 2.2.1. The teachers…………………………………………… ……………… 16 2.2.2. The students…… …………………………………………………… 16 2.3.Overview the material used for second year students at BAC NINH UPES 17 2.4. Current testing situation at BAC NINH UPES……………………… ……… 19 2.5. Results and discussions 2.5.1 The subjects……………………………………………………………… 20 2.5.2 Instruments for collecting data………………………………………………21 2.5.3 Analysis of the collected data…………… ……………………… … … …21 2.5.3.1 Teachers’ survey questionnaire and interview … …… … 21 2.5.3.2 Students’survey questionnaire ……… …… … … … 22 2.5.4. Results……………………………………………… …… … .23 CHAPTER3. Towards designing an oral achievement test for second year students at BAC NINH UPES 3.1. Suggestions for improvement of the existing English oral achievement test… … 24 3.1.1. Small talk…………………………………………………………… … 25 3.1.2. Picture………………………………………………………………… . 26 3.1.3. Oral interview…………………………………………………………… . 27 3.2. Proposed construction for an oral test for second year students at BAC NINH UPES 3.2.1. Objectives……………………………………………………………… … 28 3.2.2. Table of specifications …………………………… ………………… … 28 3.3.2.1. Test skills……………………………………………………… …… 29 3.3.2.2 Test content……………………………………… ………………… 29 3.3.2.3 Test format………………………………………… ……………… … 29 3.3.2.4. Rubrics………………………………………………………………… 29 3.3.2.5. Marking……………………………………………… …… ……… 29 3.3.2.6. Detailed construction for the test……………………………… …… 29 3.3. Test administration and marking scheme……………………… …………… 29 3.3.1. Test administration……………………………………… …………… 30 3.3.2. Marking scheme………………………………………… …………… 30 3.3.2.1. Marking………………………………………………… …………… 30 3.3.2.2. Detailed marking scales……………………………………………… … 30 3.3.2.3. Testing procedures…………………………………………………… 32 3.3.2.4. The marking training program ……………………………………… . 33 3.3.3. Conclusion……………………………………………………………… 35 vii PART C. CONCLUSION 1. Conclusions………………………………………………………………… … …36 2. Limitations and suggestions for further study…………………… ……… … 37 REFERENCES……………………………………………… …………………… .38 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRES…… … …………………… ……………….I APPENDIX B THE CURRENT TEST …… ……………………… ………… .IX APPENDIX C THE SAMPLE TEST…… …………………… …………… X APPENDIX D THE ANSWER KEY FOR SAMPLE TEST……… ………. XI APPENDIX E THE EXTRA SPEAKING MATERIALS……… ………… .XII 1 Part A. Introduction 1. Rationale for the study Language is not only a main medium of education, but also intrinsically involved in every school subject to such a degree that education should be viewed as a “ languaging” process. The twentieth century has seen the rise of English as the most widely used international means of communication with different purposes. Anyone no matter where he lives is likely to be aware of the fact that having knowledge of English helps him achieve the latest information on sience and technology and intergrade himself into the outside world. In Vietnam, English has received widespread attention. Bac Ninh Physical education and Sports University plays a very important role in training well qualified and experienced teachers of sports and coaches to satisfy the needs of the country. The communicative approach to Language Teaching with the most effective and modern teaching techniques have been applied to develop students’ linguistic and communicative competence by the teachers from this university. The teachers make full use of time to develop the four language skills during the course in an attemp to help their students communicate effectively have a successful communication in the target language. However, teachers should not be confined to imparting teaching and learning with testing. It is of special importance in educational system, which is highly competitive as testing not only acts as an indirect stimulus to learning but plays a crucial role in determining the success or failure of one’s own career. In the World Yearbook of education 1969, Lauwerys and Seaton highlights: “Thus, testing is an important tool in educational light both the nature of language proficiency and language learning”. In addition, testing also pushes up teaching and learning activities. As Nga (1977) notes: Tests are assumed to be powerful determiners of what happens in classrooms and it is commonly claimed that they affect teaching and learning activities both directly and indirectly. No one can deny the fact that testing is an important part in teaching and learning process, but has it been paid enough attention yet? Having taught English for students at Bac Ninh University of Physical education and sports for nearly 16 years, author of this study has designed tests of all four language skills, especially the speaking skills. She has 2 also administered and marked these tests. Her teaching experience shows that there still remain some problems that need to be solved such as the test content, the gap between what is tested and what is taught, the reuse of tests from years to years, from class to class. As a result, tests may lack of validity and realibility. Since 2010 at Bac Ninh UPES students have been required to do an oral achievement test at the end of each semester. Having good English result in the first year enables them to have better result in their specialty. Knowing the importance of speaking skill for students at UPES, teachers in the English group regard oral achievement test as a means to reinforce students’ knowledge and motivate their learning. On the ground of the problem already mentioned, the author has decided to choose Designing an English Oral Achievement Test for Second Year students at Bac Ninh Physical Education and Sports University (Bac Ninh UPES) in an attemp to solve the testing problems here and share her testing experience with her colleages and those who are concerned with this area. 2. Aims of the study The study aims at examining the current testing situation and English tests at Bac Ninh UPES towards designing an English oral achievement test for second year students. With the above- mentioned rationale, the specific aims of the study are: + Evaluating the current situation of English oral test in terms of its content, time allowance and marking scales. + Investigating teachers’suggestions for improvement of the current testing situation in general and oral test in particular. + Proposing a sample test as an illustration of a newly designed test based on the old one. 3. Research questions To gain the above aims of the study, the following questions are addressed: (1) What is the current English oral testing situation at Bac Ninh UPES? (2) What are the teachers’suggestions for improving the current English testing situation for the second year students at Bac Ninh UPES? (3) What test components and test contents are considered to be appropriate for the intended English oral achievement test? 4. Scope of the study 3 Because of limitation of the time, the author of the study does not cover testing issues for all the four skills, but only places emphasis on the third semester English oral achievement test for second year at Bac Ninh UPES. It deals with the general ideas of language testing, of the current test and the design of the final oral achievement test for the second year students at Bac Ninh UPES. 5. Methodology The above-given questions are to be answered by means of: (1) Gathering reference materials; analyzing and synthetisizing the findings into principles, qualities and formats as the basis to evaluate the current testing situation at Bac Ninh UPES toward designing an English oral achievement test for second year students. (2) Imploying questionnaires, interviews, opinion exchanges and experimental tests to collect data for the study 6. Design of the study The study consists of three parts and each one presents a set of related issues: - The first part provides basic information such as rationale, aims, design, scope and methodology of the study. - The second part, which is the main part, is sub divided into three chapters: + The first chapter “ Literature review”, which is the most theoretical one, looks at the background knowledge on language testing. + The second chapter which discusses on methodology, presents the deep analysis of the setting including the questionnaires, direct interviews, and analysis of students’ needs for a new test. It also describes data collection instruments, data collection procedure and data analysis. + The third chapter is the most important one which touches upon the designing an English oral achievement test for second year students at Bac Ninh UPES based on the above – mentioned theoretical and practical study. - And the final part, the author shed the mantle of reviewing the study and suggesting further research. 4 Part B. Development Chapter 1. Literature review Some literature review about language testing, the role of testing, achievement test and some criteria of a good test are presented in this chapter. 1.1 Language testing It can be said that language tests are valuable tools for providing information concerning language teaching. On the one hand, they provide evidence of the results of learning and instructing and the effectiveness of teaching. On the other hand, they also provide information for both teachers and students to make decisions. Teachers should determine what specific kinds learning materials or activities are suitable for their students basing on their strength and weakness or diagnosis of the amount of knowledge they have learnt and make sure that they are ready to move to another unit. For these reasons, all language teaching should involve testing and it becomes one of the main aspects of methodology. Many researchers have given out definitions of testing with different points of view. Allen(1974: 313) provides the following definition of tests: A test is a measuring device which we use when we want to compare an individual with other individuals who belong to the same group. The author emphasizes testing as an instrument to ensure that students have a sense of competition rather than to know how good their performance is and in which condition a test can take place. According to Carroll (1968: 46), a psychological or educational test can be considered as a procedure designed to elicit behavior from which one can make inference about characteristics of an individual. From this definition, it follows that a test is a measurement designed to elicit a particular behavior of each individual. And what a test from other types of measurement, according to Bachman, (1990: 20) is that it is designed to obtain specific sample of behavior. This distinction is believed to be of great importance because it reflects the primary justification replaced for the use of language tests and implicates how we design, develop 5 and use them to their best use. Thus, language tests can provide the means for more focus on the specific assure of interest. Another interesting definition of testing is provided by Ibe (1981: 1) as follow: A sample of behavior under controlled of specified conditions and aimed towards providing a basis for performing judgement. The term a sample of behavior used here is rather broad and it means something else rather than the traditional types of papers and pencils. Read (1983) shares the same idea with Ibe in the sense that a sample of behaviors suggests language testing ceirtainly includes listening and speaking skills as well as reading and writing ones. However, Heaton (1988:5) looks at testing in a different way. In his opinion, tests are as a means of assessing the students’ performance and to motivate the students. He looks at tests with positive eyes as many students are eager to take at the end of the semester to know how much knowledge they have. One important thing is that he points out the relationship between testing and teaching. In short, from the above descriptions, testing is an effective means of measuring and assessing students’ language knowledge and skill. It is of great use to both language teaching and learning. 1.2 The role of testing Unlike tests of other abilities or areas of knowledge where we frequently use language in the process of measuring something else, in language tests, we use language as a measurement of language ability in second language acquisition. Similarly, language tests can be valuable sources of information about the effectiveness of learning and teaching 1.2.1 Testing and teaching A large number of examination and tests in the past tended to separate testing from teaching. Heaton (1988: 5 ) emphasizes that teaching and testing in some ways are so interwoven and independent that is very difficult to tease apart.” Both testing and teaching are so closely interrelated that it is virtually impossible to work in either field without being constantly concerned with the others”. However, thanks to the steady change in the approaches to language teaching with a remarkable shift of emphasis from dicrete - point items to intergrative and communicative tests, testing, teaching and learning become more and more interrelated. [...]... tester (7 points) 3.4 Test administration and marking scheme 3.4 .1 Test administration The sample test for second year students of physical education department at Bac Ninh UPES was given as a trial with the participation of 10 students randomly chosen during the school year 2 010 and 2 011 The test administration was carried out on 15 th May 2 011 Before students do the test, examiners give them clear instructions... Picture Making up interview description sentences N % N % N % N % N % N % 1 10 1 10 2 20 3 30 2 20 1 10 The data in Table 2.2 indicated that Bac Ninh UPES gave a high priority to oral interview (30 %), picture description and small talk (20%) respectively The low priority is given to making up sentences (10 %) and translation E-V and V-E (10 %) respectively The data also suggested that teachers expected the... very Unreasonable reasonable N % N % N % N % Content 1 10 1 10 4 40 4 40 Marking scale 1 10 2 20 4 40 3 30 Time allowance 3 30 2 20 3 30 2 20 The data collected from the table reveal that nearly half of the teachers (4 out of 10 teachers, accounting for 40 %) found the current test not very reasonable in terms of the content They thought that when choosing content for an end course test, teachers, should... language elements and skills 3 .1. 2 Students’ survey questionnaire Table 3.3 Students’ opinion about the test Question Option 2 3 N % 4 N % 5 N % 6 N % 7 N % 8 N % A 91 3 14 75 91 67 B 27 33 9 25 9 33 C 1 77 4 0 0 0 D 0 6 46 0 0 0 N: number N % 8 27 64 1 23 As can be seen of responses from the table, when being asked about the importance of English to their future career, 91 students thought that it is... an oral test for second year students of education department at Bac Ninh UPES 3.3 .1 Objectives physical 28 This test is designed for third semester students of physical education department at Bac Ninh UPES When taking the test, students have learnt 6 units of “ English for sport students” and 4 units (unit 11 ,12 , 13 ,14 ) in New Headway-Elementary Although the course requires students to learn four macro... The first stage is spent for General English (12 0 hours), the other stage is for English for Specific Purpose (60 hours) At UPES, the course book "New Headway Elementary" is chosen to teach for the first year students at UPES According to the authors (Soars and Soars, 19 98), New 18 Headway is meant for use by adult and young adult learners and provides 12 0 hours of language learning The authors claim... sussecced in measuring what it is supposed to measure 1. 4.3 Practicality It would be not good if test constructors are to separate tests’ validity and reliability from practicality According to Harrison (19 91: 13), a valid and reliable test is of little use if it does not prove to be a practical one Test practicality refers to financial limitations, time 12 constrains, ease of administration, scoring and... at Bac Ninh UPES 21 Chapter 3 Towards designing an oral achievement test for second year students at Bac Ninh UPES This part of the study presents the data of the study, their analysis and discussion to provide ground for drawing conclusions with reference to the research questions 3 .1 Analysis of the collected data 3 .1. 1 Teachers’ survey questionnaire and direct interview Table 3 .1 Teachers’ opinions... this paper attempts to focus on achievement tests only 1. 3 .1 Definition Achievement tests are commonly used at school of all levels and of great importance in evaluating language knowledge and skills students have aquired during the English teaching learning process Different authors have different ideas about achievement tests Acording to Spatt (19 85 :14 5) an achievement test is one of the means available... practicality and discrimination All these characteristics play a very important role in constructing a good test 1. 4 .1 Validity When testers construct a test, they must pay special attention to its validity According to Carmen (19 95), a test is valid if it measures what you want to measure In Aik’s opinion (19 83:72), a test is said to be valid it is relevant to the aims and purposes of the areas of learning on . Discrimination……………………………………………………………. .12 1. 5. Testing speaking skills……………………………………………………………… .12 1. 5 .1. What is a spoken test …………………………………………………… 12 1. 5.2. What should be tested…………………………………………………… 13 1. 5.2 .1. Listening. test………………………………………………………………. . 9 1. 4 .1. Validity………………………………………………… …………… … 10 1. 4.2. Reliability……………………………………………………………… … 11 1. 4.3. Practicality……………………………………………………………… … 12 1. 4.4. Discrimination…………………………………………………………… comprehension…………………………………………… … 13 1. 5.2.2. Grammatical appropriacy…………………………………………… 14 1. 5.2.3. Ease of speech and fluency……………………………………… … … .14 1. 5.2.4. Content…………………………………………………………… …… .15 1. 5.2.5. Conversational
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