Developing and using tasks for the assessment of speaking

Neus Figueras

Language, Testing, Assessment, Speaking, Tasks


This article provides an overview of the development and use of tasks for the assessment of speaking. It first addresses the key role of the assessment of the skill of speaking within language assessment in general and in the context of teaching and learning foreign languages. Then, it discusses how social changes and research have reshaped the way speaking is defined and operationalized, and focuses on how speaking can be assessed more validly and reliably today. The central role of tasks is also discussed, together with the importance of taking into consideration the implications and impact of different task characteristics. Some recommendations for the development of useful and meaningful assessment tasks which foster uses of assessment that contribute to learning are also proposed. The aim is to revisit due process procedures in the development of speaking assessments with a view to problematizing how to best address 21st century needs.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies