Date of Award
Prof. SEWELL Andrew John
This study reports on a quantitative and qualitative inquiry into the under-researched nature of construct validity in speaking assessments. It looks at the relationship between theoretical construct definition and applied construct operationalisation, focusing particularly on the HKDSE Paper 4 assessment guidelines. Using data collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews with five English teachers from a local English as Medium of Instruction school, it investigates raters’ understandings and perceptions of the level descriptors (LDs). The findings of this study revealed that there is a need for more attention to the choice of terminology used in the LDs, as some of the wordings create ambiguity. In addition, the problematic, notion of the ‘native-speaker’ norm in pronunciation was found to underlie some of the LDs, leading to further scope for confusion. In order to minimize raters’ variations and to shape a common set of understandings towards the LD, more rater training and standardization programmes are also required.
The copyright of this dissertation is owned by its author. Any reproduction, adaptation, distribution or dissemination of this thesis without express authorization is strictly prohibited.
Chan, H. K. C. (2018). An evaluation of the HKDSE Paper 4 (Speaking) assessment guidelines: English teachers’ views and other considerations (UG dissertation, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/eng_fyp/70