Young Learners Assignments
The assessment of oral skills is often seen as difficult, especially in low stakes contexts (Alderson and Clapham 1995). This paper sets out to examine a way of ameliorating the validity and reliability of these tests by the development of a rating scale for an end of year oral English test in the third and final year of a middle school in the North of Italy.
The paper examines areas relating to the institutional background, what to look for in oral tests, mechanisms for rating test performance, and the age factor. It then goes on to develop a rating scale to be used in this context, analysing factors such as validity and reliability. The paper then analysis the results quantitatively and qualitatively, by seeking the views of the testers. The conclusion discusses ways to further improve the tests and scale in future years.