Speaking skill has acquired a very important place in the communication skills. Like listening skills – a number of sub-
skills of speaking need to be consciously developed amongst students. Some of the sub-skills are given below which can be assessed.
- speaking intelligibly using appropriate word stress, sentence stress and intonation patterns.
- narrating incidents and events, real or imaginary in a logical sequence.
- presenting oral reports or summaries; making announcements clearly and confidently.
- expressing and arguing a point of view clearly and effectively.
- taking active part in group discussions, showing ability to express agreement or disagreement, summarising ideas, eliciting the views of others, and presenting own ideas.
- expressing and responding to personal feelings, opinions and attitudes.
- participating in spontaneous spoken discourse in familiar social situations.
1 The total administration time for the speaking test is approximately 10-12 minutes
2 The speaking test will be conducted for ________________.
3 There will be a single teacher to function as the Interlocutor and Assessor.
4 The Interlocutor/ Assessor should be a qualified English Teacher
The Speaking Test:
Role of Assessor:
1.The (Assessor) should ensure that the room is quiet and has good acoustics.
2.The tone, manner and body language of the Interlocutor should be relaxed, encouraging and pleasant. Care
should be taken to make the candidates feel at ease.
3.Students must not be discouraged from making a fresh start in case they are unable to do so at the first
4.The Assessor needs to be flexible, sympatric and reassuring in her/his demeanour.
5.The Assessor should also be a proficient user of the language in order to conduct the speaking test
successfully. For e.g .the interlocutor should be skilled in Elicitation techniques. For e.g. Yes/No questions
should generally be avoided.
6.Alternatively questions such as… Explain how/Why…Tell me what you think of….
7.Ideally, the Assessor should award marks after the candidates have left the Examination Room. If necessary,
notes can be made discreetly to be later in the scoring so that it does not make the candidates unduly tense
The Speaking test is divided into three sections as given below:
I General Introduction
The Interlocutor converses with the two candidates. Simple warm up questions based on the candidates’ names, place
of residence, leisure preferences etc are asked.
II Mini Presentation
In this section the Interlocutor gives each candidate the choice to pick up a Role Card or a Cue Card with a topic
written on it.
The candidates are given 1 minute to prepare. The assessor should be ready with sheets of paper and pencil.
Candidates may organize their thoughts and ideas.
Prior to the day of the speaking test, as an assistance to students to prepare for the presentations, a teacher
can give a choice of 20 to 30 topics in class to students so that they can prepare the topics and organise their
ideas on each topic .Similar topics can be given in the formal testing .
Please note that candidates are not allowed to write full length answers. They may jot down points only in the sheets
given by the Interlocutor. Therefore, pencil and paper should be provided on the table. Students are not allowed
to carry pen, paper or mobile in the examination room. After one minute, each student will be given 2 minutes
each to present his/her ideas.
In case, a student is unable to speak during /for the allotted time, the (Assessor) may ask some rounding
III Pair Interaction
The third section of the test is for 3 minutes. Both candidates are given a verbal or visual stimulus and asked to
respond to it
Both the candidates are given a total of 3 minutes to interact. Both of them will talk together.
The closing is for 1 minute duration only. In case a student has not been able to speak or has been unable to speak
owing to nervousness, the dominance of the second candidate or any other factor, then, the (interlocutor) may use the
1 minute to give a fresh opportunity to that student.
Assessment of Speaking
Assessors should familiarise themselves with the assessment scale of speaking. While the students are giving their
presentation, assessors may refer to descriptors. It is they may share these indicators with the students while
formative assessment tasks are given. As the test will be conducted for two students at a time, it is advised that two to
three teachers sit in separate rooms to conduct the assessment of students of one section at a time. Hence 48
students can be assessed simultaneously within one and half hours, in three batches of 16 students each.
Assessors are advised to pay due attention to and familiarize themselves with the design of the test items. The sample
test items are given here as Annexures here. Similar test items can be framed according to the need and level of
The descriptors are given below for reference:
ASSESSMENT OF SPEAKING (descriptive indicator)
|INTERACTION||1. Can initiate & logically develop simple conversation on familiar topics. 2. Can take turns appropriately.||1. Interaction is adequately initiated and developed. 2. Can take turn but needs little prompting.||1. Develops interaction adequately makes however minimal effort to initiate conversation. 2. Needs constant prompting to take turns.||1. Contributions are often unrelated to those of the other speaker. 2. Generally passive in the development of conversation.||1. Contributions are mainly unrelated to those of other speaker. 2. Shows hardly any initiative in the development of conversation. 3. Very limited interaction.|
|PRONUNCIATION||1. Can pronounce correctly & articulate clearly. 2. Is always comprehensible; uses appropriate intonation.||1. Mostly correct pronunciation & clear articulation. 2. Can be clearly understood most of the time; very few phonological errors.||1. Largely correct pronunciation & clear articulation except occasional errors. 2. Some expressions cause stress without compromising with understanding of spoken discourse.||1. Frequently unintelligible articulations. 2. Frequent phonological errors. 3. Major communication problems||1. Insufficient accuracy in pronunciation; many grammatically errors. 2. Communication is severely affected|
|FLUENCY & COHERENCE||1. Speaks fluently almost with no repetition & minimal hesitation. 2. Develops topicfully & coherently||1. Speak without noticeable effort, with a little repetition. 2. Demonstrates hesitation to find words or use correct grammatical structures and/or self correction. 3. Topics not fully developed to merit.||1. Is willing to speak at length, however repetition is noticeable. 2. Hesitates and/or self corrects; occasionally loses coherence. 3. Topic mainly developed, but usually not logically concluded.||1. Usually fluent; produces simple speech fluently, but loses coherence in complex communication. 2. Often hesitates and/or resorts to slow speech. 3. Topics partly developed; not always concluded logically.||1. Noticeably/ long pauses; rate of speech is slow. 2. Frequent repetition and/or self correction. 3. Links only basic sentences; breakdown of coherence evident.|
|VOCABULARY & GRAMMAR||1. Can express with some flexibility & appropriacy on a variety of topics such as family, hobbies, work, travel & current events. 2. Frequently uses complex forms & sentence structures; has enough vocabulary to express himself/ herself.||1. Can express with some flexibility & appropriacy on most of the topics. 2. Demonstrates ability to use complex forms & sentence structures most of the time; express with adequate vocabulary to express.||1. Communicates with limited flexibility & appropriacy on most of the topics. 2. Sometimes uses complex forms & sentence structures most of the time; has limited vocabulary to describe / express new points.||1. Communicates with limited flexibility & appropriacy on some of the topics. 2. Complex forms & sentence structures are rare; most of the time; exhibits limited vocabulary to express new ideas.||1. Demonstrate almost no flexibility & mostly struggles for appropriate words. 2. Uses very basic vocabulary to express view points.|
|R . NO||NAME||INTERACTION||PRONUNCIATION||FLUENCY & COHERENCE||VOCABULARY & GRAMMAR||TOTAL ( 20 )||AVE (5 )|