Assessment of Listening and Speaking Skills

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Apart from the writing skills, it is essential to judge a student’s communication skills. In the given article we shall discuss how to assess the learning and speaking skills of the class 10 student. CBSE formulated the ASL test in the year 2012 in all its affiliated schools in order to emphasize the importance of:

  •  Learning skills
  • Speaking skills

CBSE designed the test to enhance the communication skills of learners. The board emphasized the fact that good communication skills were essential as they:

  • Boost the confidence of students
  • Uplift their scale of employment

The listening and speaking skills have different motives in the ASL test. We shall discuss these skills in depth.

Listening Skills

It evaluates the student’s ability to comprehend basic instructions or the academic materials. The focus is to use the assessment of Listening Skills for improving learners’ competency to listen for basic interpersonal, instructional and academic purposes. A number of sub-skills need to be developed in the everyday classroom transaction. Given below are some of the sub-skills of listening to that need to be assessed for the Internal Assessment component of Listening:

  1. Listening for Specific Information
  2. Listening for General Understanding
  3. Predictive Listening
  4. Inferential Listening
  5. Listening for Pleasure
  6. Intensive Listening
  7. Evaluative Listening

Hence, the assessment items being prepared by subject teachers must assess the above. The basic purpose was to assess the listening and interpretation skills of the grade 10 students. The learners are expected to decipher and interpret the meaning conveyed in the audio. The examiner judges the listening abilities of the student on the basis of his comprehension and views that he presents before the examiner.

Speaking Skills

Here, the grade 10 student is evaluated on the basis of his speaking ability. The examiner tests the student’s ability to express himself on a given topic in English. The student is judged on the following parameters:

  • Vocabulary: the set of words that the student implements while expressing his views on a particular topic
  • Sentence construction: this refers to the correct way of using the language system 
  • Expression: the student is also judged on his creative as well as analytical skills
  • Fluency: the ability to speak quickly and without errors is termed fluency
  • Pronunciation: stress is laid on the perfect manner of communication, this includes the articulation, stress and intonation
  • Precision: here, we check for grammatical errors, pronunciation, articulation etc. on the whole 
  • Interaction; this refers to the ability of the student to respond to others while speaking on a particular topic 

Assessment of speaking skills is of paramount importance and is, therefore, a major component of the overall learning assessment. ALS must be seen as an integral component of all 4 language skills. Reading and writing are well assessed during the written exam, so listening and speaking skills are emphasized while conducting ASL tests.

There are five types of activities to assess speaking skills:

  • Intensive Speaking
  • Responsive Speaking
  • Interactive Speaking
  • Extensive Speaking
  • Imitative Speaking

Now we shall explore a little bit about each one of them.

Intensive Speaking

Following activities can be performed to judge the intensive speaking skills:

A read-it-out Task: The teacher listens to a recording and evaluates the students on the basis of some given parameters like fluency, expression etc.

Some variations of this task are:

  • reading a script with someone else
  • reading the information in tabular format

Sentence/ dialogue completion task: Students read through the dialogue so they can think about appropriate words to fill in. 

Picture-cued Tasks: The picture-cued requires the test taker to provide a description of the given image. 

Responsive speaking

The following tasks can be performed to assess the student’s ability to respond:

  • Question and Answer
  • Giving instructions and directions
  • Paraphrasing

Interactive Speaking

These are some of the most common interactive speaking tasks

  • Interview: It is a one-to-one interaction between the examiner and the student.
  • Role play is another scholastic activity that is used in communicative English classes
  • Discussions and Conversations: These two speaking tasks provide a level of credibility and flow that other assessment techniques may not provide
  • Games are an informal assessment task but they are not commonly used.

Extensive Speaking

These are some of the most common extensive speaking tasks that you can use to assess speaking.

  • Oral Presentations are implemented for evaluating extensive speaking, these are evaluated on the basis of content and delivery.
  • Picture-cued storytelling: Students describe a story based on a set of pictures that they have already seen.
  • Re-Telling a story, News Event: Students are asked to tell a story of something they heard or read.

Imitative speaking

Imitative speaking tasks are based on repetition. You just need to repeat a sentence you hear. Examples include directed response tasks, reading aloud, sentence and dialogue completion, and limited picture-cued tasks.

ALS must be seen as an integrated component of all four language skills rather than a compartment of two. Suggested activities, therefore, take into consideration an integration of the four language skills but during the assessment, emphasis will be given to speaking and listening, since reading and writing are already being assessed in the written exam.

Guidelines for Assessment in Listening and Speaking Skills

Grade 10 English CBSE

As part of Subject Enrichment Activities for Internal assessment, the Assessment of

Listening and Speaking Skills will be for 10 marks. It is recommended that listening and speaking skills should be regularly practiced. Art-integrated projects based on activities like Role Play, Skit, Dramatization etc. must be used. Please refer to Circular no. Acad-33/2020 dated 14th May 2020 as below: http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material/Circulars/2020/33_Circular_2020.pdf

Activities

Activities for listening and speaking available at www.cbseacademic.in can be used for developing the listening and speaking skills of students. Teachers can also use the NCERT book ‘Interactions’ available at the link:

https://ncert.nic.in/pdf/publication/otherpublications/Interactions.pdf

 Subject teachers should also refer to books prescribed in the syllabus. In addition to the above, teachers may plan their own activities and create their own material for assessing their listening and speaking skills.

Parameters for Assessment

The listening and speaking skills are to be assessed on the following parameters:

  1. Interactive competence (Initiation & turn to take, relevance to the topic).
  2. Fluency (cohesion, coherence and speed of delivery).
  3. Pronunciation
  4. Language (accuracy and vocabulary)

Guidelines issued By CBSE Related To Listening And Speaking Skills

Speaking needs a very strong emphasis and is an important objective leading to professional competence. Hence, testing of oral skills must be made an important component of the overall testing pattern. To this end, speaking and listening skills are overtly built into the material to guide the teachers in the actualization of the skills.

Specific Objectives of Listening & Speaking

Students are expected to develop the ability to:

  • take organized notes on lectures, talks and listening passages
  • listen to news bulletins and develop the ability to discuss informally wide-ranging issues like current national and international affairs, sports, business, etc.
  • respond in interviews and participate in formal group discussions.
  • make inquiries meaningfully and adequately and respond to inquiries for the purpose of traveling within the country and abroad.
  • listen to business news and be able to extract relevant important information.
  • to develop public speaking skills.

Marks Allocated For Speaking And Listening Activities (English, CBSE)

  • Assessment of Listening Skills – 05 marks.
  • Assessment of Speaking Skills – 05 Marks

The final assessment of the learning and speaking skills is to be done in accordance with the schedule and convenience of the school. The record of the activities done and the marks given must be kept for three months after the declaration of the result.


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