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Self-assessment of communicative ability : investigation of a novel tool for ESL learners


Self-assessment of communicative ability : investigation of a novel tool for ESL learners

Dandenault, Edith Julie (1997) Self-assessment of communicative ability : investigation of a novel tool for ESL learners. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis reports an investigation into the development and use of a self-assessment tool in the field of ESL. The study involved a group of Francophones telling, in their own words, the story represented in a wordless cartoon storyboard. Segments lasting 30 seconds were taken from each of the recorded story tellings and played to a large group of native speakers of English. These English speakers rated the voices on a seven point scale where 7 = "can express ideas in English like a native speaker" and 1 = "cannot express ideas in English at all". From the ratings obtained we found voice samples that were statistically distanced from each other so that they lay on a seven point scale at approximately the 2, 4 and 6 points of the scale. A new stimulus tape was made up using two samples from the 2, 4 and 6 categories of speaker, as well as one speaker in the "2" category and one in the "7" category. This tape comprised the stimulus tape for the final part of the study. A group of French speaking students who were learning English as a second language rated themselves against these selected voices by indicating for each whether they could express themselves better than, as well as or worse than each sample voice. The results were submitted to the Rasch model of measurement (item response theory) which demonstrated that the learners were extremely consistent in the way they rated themselves. Overall, the study indicated that this test, which is relatively simple to administer once the stimulus tape has been made, has strong face validity and strong internal consistency. The potential implications of these results for use of the tool in self-assessment as a placement test are also considered.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > TESL Centre
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Dandenault, Edith Julie
Pagination:xi, 131 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gatbonton, Elizabeth
ID Code:1227
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:17
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:16
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