However, owing to copyright restrictions and time pressures, it is very difficult for many English language programs to develop a sufficiently large body of materials. Testing Listening Comprehension 1 of 4 in a series The Listening Comprehension Construct Testing listening comprehension is a complex undertaking. The author's knowledge of the subject is apparent in his ability to summarize and synthesize a vast amount of research into a highly manageable and readable text. Listening Comprehension is a very complex process. Note: The listener can ask for repetition but always gets a re-statement. Remember, listening comprehension is not understanding what words mean but what speakers mean.
Construct 3: Competence in using the grammatical system as well as discourse competence. Series Title: Responsibility: Gary Buck. Chapter 2 offers a dry discussion of what is unique to listening. The book's initial three chapters explain issues pertaining to second language listening. He remains active, managing Lidget Green and providing assessment services to our clients.
Buck's text is hands-on and though theoretical at times, its major strength lies in its clear and straightforward discussions of how to incorporate listening assessment into language classrooms. Construct 4: Competence with all the linguistic, pragmatic or sociolinguistic aspects of language. Illustrative tests of listening comprehension -- 9. That the situation is not unique to teachers in Japan is clear in Buck's interesting discussion of why listening needs to be assessed in this book, which offers a general overview of theory, research and practice in language learning both mother and second language. Chapter 3 contrasts various listening assessment approaches: discrete point testing, integrative listening, and interpretive approaches.
The book is a clear and straightforward discussion on the major issues in listening assessment. One good source of information is my book, Assessing Listening, by Gary Buck, published by Cambridge University Press. I prefer a different approach to construct definition. Strictly speaking, he claims '. Note: Almost all processing breakdowns occur because processing is not sufficiently automatic. In brief, it is a fairly in-depth discussion of whether listening skills can be broken down into sub-skills and characteristics of spoken texts such as stress and intonation, and several lists of listening sub-skills. In 2003, Gary founded Lidget Green, Inc.
The next four chapters are the most practical and likely to be of most interest and use to English teachers. I have found that problems in designing listening tests seem to stem from finding texts suitable for different classes, Buck's main suggestion in Chapter 6 is that teachers keep a record of live recordings and this seems like a good idea. Though many teachers might already be familiar with the majority of the information presented; for those seeking a deeper understanding of listening assessment, a general introduction into the field, or a solid reference for devising research, this is a good resource. Put simply, the main idea of Chapter 4 is that:. After a short period teaching graduate school in the U. Though Buck addresses some of these issues, I felt that he could and should have spent more time on how to manipulate existing materials. There is an excellent reference list at the end of the book; however, it would be more helpful to list different resources at the end of each chapter so that readers might pursue their own study of the topic rather than be bewildered by searching for them at the end of the book.
Chapter 5 is especially helpful because it discusses real life problems in designing tests, tasks and questions. Since that time, Gary has worked full-time in the testing industry. The need for language processing to be completely automatic: you have to test whether they can do this automatically, while paying no attention to their listening processes. A further, minor criticism concerns how Buck references texts. Oral-literate Continuum Differences between listening and reading are really a question of degree.
In later blogs in this series, we will talk about the need to plan, unplanned discourse, and the dilemma this creates for test development. It is unusual that Buck does not address issues in giving feedback, as the book focuses mainly on designing formative assessment. Defining the construct -- 5. In a nutshell, it provides a general introduction to the research and theory on listening assessment, practical advice about what to look for in listening performance, as well as a list of useful activities and text-types for doing such. This in turn determines whether the decisions we make based on those test scores will be valid and fair. Gary Buck started his career as an English teacher and taught for many years at a college in Japan. Lidget Green has continued his original focus on language testing—carrying out many projects for both high-stakes and low-stakes programs—in both K-12 and adult education.
Included are examples of common techniques used in both in high and low stakes tests. It is the cognitive environment that provides the real context for interpretation: i. This book, published by Cambridge University Press, has since become the standard textbook on testing second-language listening comprehension. But normally, three things need to be stressed for construct validity: The need for realistic texts: you have to test whether they can understand spoken language. You may quote or copy the content, but we do ask that you give credit if you do. Instead, most language centers use pre-recorded, commercially produced materials which may or may not be relevant to a particular class.
Listening is usually much easier for the addressee, who shares knowledge with the speaker, which is taken into account, whereas the overhearer often lacks the shared knowledge that makes the discourse comprehensible. While identifying a test purpose is relatively easy, putting ideas into practice is much more difficult. This section highlights different subjects from various staff members on a regular basis, so be sure to check back regularly. In 2000, Gary began working as director of a number of high-stakes testing programs in the U. An overview of listening comprehension -- 2. Such a discussion might have revealed what experts in test design have in mind when they are writing large-scale tests, and therefore helped teachers preparing smaller-scale tasks and tests to use some of these insights into improving listening lessons in their own language classes.