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Linguistic Features Distinguishing Examinees' Speaking Performances at Different Proficiency Levels

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DOI: 10.23977/langta.2018.11003 | Downloads: 30 | Views: 574


Okim Kang 1, Xun Yan 2


1 Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
2 Department of Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, USA

Corresponding Author

Okim Kang


A high-stakes speaking test needs to reflect a view of speaking ability that involves multiple competences by sampling features of language use (Davies, 2008). The current study examines linguistic features that distinguish examinee performance across Common European Framework of References (CEFR) levels in the Cambridge English Language Assessment. Using a quantitative/corpus-based approach, 1-minute long, mono-logic speech files of 106 candidates, at each of the CEFR levels were analyzed in various linguistic features. Dimension scores were subjected to correlational and MANOVA analyses. The findings suggest that there are distinctive differences in more linguistic dimensions between high and low CEFR speaking levels than between the adjacent levels. They also offer implications for the validation of the scoring criteria, and improvement of rater development and language pedagogy.


Speaking Assessment, Proficiency Level, Linguistic Analysis


Okim, K., Xun, Y., Linguistic Features Distinguishing Examinees' Speaking Performances at Different Proficiency Levels. Journal of Language Testing & Assessment (2018) Vol. 1: 24-39.


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