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A study examined how the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) Test is perceived by both International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) and instructors at a major midwestern university where it is used as a screening instrument for hiring ITAs. Subjects, 24 ITAs from the social sciences and 24 ITAs from the math-based sciences who took the SPEAK test over a 2-year period, completed an affective reactions questionnaire. Results indicated that there was no overall significant difference in ITAs' affective reactions to the SPEAK test in terms of ethnic backgrounds, when they took the test, or their fields. Results of interviews of five ITA instructors indicated that some instructors mentioned the lack of face validity and voiced some concerns about how difficult it was to judge the overall comprehensibility of the ITA. (Ten tables of data are included; 24 references and the ITA questionnaire are attached.) (RS)

Descriptors: Affective Measures, Communication Research, Communication Skills, English (Second Language), Foreign Students, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Language Proficiency, Language Tests, Occupational Tests, Student Attitudes, Teaching Assistants, Testing

Autor: Gokcora, Deniz


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