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Testing English listening skills involves a variety of skills. Sounds are sometimes difficult to discriminate in a language that is not one's native tongue, so testing phoneme discrimination, the ability to tell the difference between sounds, is important. Picture choice items are a good way to select among alternatives to demonstrate discrimination of the phonemes. Discriminating stress and intonation can be tested by having test takers listen to a sentence that they have in front of them and indicate the main stress of the sentence. This can be useful, but will not demonstrate student understanding of meaning. Ability to understand the meaning of difference in intonation can be tested by asking for interpretations of a sentence, but this also can lack context information. Teachers can test student understanding of individual sentences and dialogues or they can ask test takers to choose among responses to an utterance. Some types of listening tasks make use of visual materials in true-false or matching situations. Map and drawing tasks can also be used to assess listening ability, and tasks involving talks and lectures are particularly appropriate for students who will be using English in schools where it is the language of instruction. Testing listening is difficult, and teachers must be aware that listening tests frequently do not reflect real-world listening tasks. (SLD)

Descriptors: English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, Language Proficiency, Language Tests, Listening Comprehension Tests, Objective Tests, Phonemes, Second Language Learning, Test Construction, Testing Problems

Autor: Kitao, S. Kathleen; Kitao, Kenji

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9438&id=ED398257

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