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ESL oral exam evaluation grading rubric - TESOL TESL TEFL speaking test assessment

I use this when administering oral midterm examamination tests to my EFL students in Korea. It will also work for those teaching English as a second language. For my exams, students form or are assigned groups of three or four. Then they engage in some communicative task, generally a conversation or a role-play. There is an accompanying ESL oral test evaluation rubric and an Oral test feedback form (opens as a .doc file).

A guide to the midterm oral test for Fresman Conversational English

1. Students will form groups of three or four.

2. Students will converse on any topic.

3. The conversation must last 3 minutes/person (not including pauses).

4. Students will be graded on their use of grammar and vocabulary covered in class as well as fluency, listening/discourse, and voice/pronunciation.

5. In light of the evaluation criteria, students should choose a topic which allows them to use grammar and vocabulary studied in class.

6. No books, papers, or notes of any kind may be used while taking the midterm exam.

7. The midterm exam will be conducted in my office, L568. It will be recorded.

8. In order to prepare for the midterm, students will choose a topic, considering the possibilities to use grammar and vocabulary studied in class.

9. The conversation should be planned but not scripted. Scripted conversations are likely to receive low marks for fluency (as students struggle to remember their lines), listening (as students will be so busy trying to remember the script that they won't pay attention to their partners which is likely to result in badly timed and inappropriate utterances), and voice (as students are likely to be reciting the script rather than engaging in an authentic exchange with their partners).

10. A few select phrases, however, (especially ones containing grammatical structures and vocabulary items studied in class) can be memorized so that when they are needed during the conversation they can be easily recalled.

11. Students are expected to review all grammatical structures and vocabulary items from the text (including those studied in the previous semester) and accurately incorporate them into the conversation whenever appropriate.