Monday, February 6, 2012

How to Assess speaking skills

Speaking is a central yet complex area of language acquisition. The assessment of this crucial skill is not easy. Nevertheless, it does not mean speaking test cannot be measured in correct way. Assessing should be careful and meticulous currents tests of speaking. Assessment are used for correct placement in a class, to pre-test and post-test, and to evaluate students.
Assessment of speaking is the activities undertaken to acquire and streamline the information about the speaking learning outcomes of the students at grade level during and after the teaching  and learning activities. The test speaking performance can be done by discussion, problem-solving, role-plays, conversations, speeches, such as retell story, story telling, and so on. According to David P. Harris, “speaking is a complex skill requiring the simultaneous use of different ability which often develops at different rates”.
He states that there are five components are generally recognized in analyses of the speech process are:
1.      Pronunciation, including segmental features, vowels and consonants, and the stress and intonation patterns
2.      Grammar
3.      Vocabulary
4.      Fluency
5.      Comprehension 
The oral test divided into five elements; pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Each elements characteristics are then defined into five short behavioral statements as stated in the frames above. This helps to make the test reliable, since it avoids subjectivity because it provides clear, precise and mutually exclusive behavioral statements for each point of the scale. The writer will objectively see the characteristics of each student. Speaking ability whether they achieve 1,2,3,4 or 5 score. Then, it can easily calculate the score. The amount of maximum scores gained is 25.


  1. can you please post some activities regarding how to assess each component?