Using the PhonePass SET-10 Test to Measure Oral English Ability


Search this article



Communicative language teaching, with its focus on functional language ability, is becoming is more common in Japanese college and university English programs. It is often difficult, however, to gauge the effectiveness of the instruction in raising the level of oral English proficiency of students. Tests purporting to measure speaking skills do not always provide reliable and valid scores and can be prohibitively time consuming. In an effort to gain a more complete picture of the English skills of its students, the Department of International Cultural Studies administered the PhonePass SET - 10 exam (a speaking/listening exam administered by phone) in addition to the ITP TOEFL to the first year students in 2002. A strong correlation was found between the scores of the two tests, suggesting that they are reliable indicators of student ability. At the same time, individual differences in PhonePass scores among students with similar ITP TOEFL scores suggest that the PhonePass SET - 10 may indeed "tap" students' oral skills. Further testing will give a more complete picture of students' progress in acquiring oral skills in comparison with their mastery of reading and grammar.





Report a problem

Back to top