Zafer Susoy


The purpose of this preliminary study is to examine whether there is a relationship between the achievement scores and two different test formats used in speaking assessment – paired or individual. The study also attempts to explore the test takers’ preferences pertaining to the test formats employed and the reasons behind. The participants of this study are 25 freshman students studying in the English Language Teaching department of a well-known state university in Turkey. The data used in the quantitative analysis comes from the grades scored by the same cohort of students in two oral proficiency exams conducted within the scope of course assessment during the regular exam period of the program. Secondly, the qualitative data was obtained from the semi structured interviews carried out with 14 of the 25 students immediately after the paired speaking test. The interview questions specifically sought to reveal how the participants felt about the paired format of speaking test, how they would compare this format to the individual format, and if they were given the chance which format they would prefer and why. We have come to see that students got better scores in the paired speaking test format that we designed in the form of paired discussion in comparison to the individual format where the test takers’ interlocutor is the course lecturer. The difference in the mean scores obtained in the two different formatted exams was found statistically significant. Our qualitative findings showed that the majority of the students liked and supported the practice of being paired.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



speaking assessment, oral proficiency, assessment formats

Full Text:



Bachman, L. F. (1990). Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Bachman, L. F., & Palmer, A. S. (1996). Language testing in practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Berry, V. (2004). A study of the interaction between individual personality differences and oral performance test facets. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. King’s College, University of London, UK.

Birjandi, P., & Bagherkazemi, M. (2011). From Face-to-Face to Paired Oral Proficiency Interviews: The Nut is Yet to be Cracked. English Language Teaching, 4(2), p169.

Bonk, W. J., & Van Moere, A. (2004). L2 group oral testing: The influence of shyness/outgoingness, match of interlocutors’ proficiency level, and gender on individual scores. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Language Testing Research Colloquium, Temecula, California

Brooks, L. (2009). Interacting in pairs in a test of oral proficiency: Co-constructing a better performance. Language Testing, 26, 341-366.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative. Prentice Hall

Davis, L. (2009). The influence of interlocutor proficiency in a paired oral assessment. Language Testing, 26(3), 367-396.

Egyud, G., & Glover, P. (2001). Readers respond. Oral testing in pairs-secondary school perspective. ELT journal, 55(1), 70-76.

Foot, M. C. (1999). Relaxing in pairs. ELT Journal, 53(1), 70-76.

Galaczi, E. D. (2008). Peer-peer interaction in a speaking test: The case of the First Certificatein English examination. Language Assessment Quarterly, 5, 89–119.

Galaczi, E. (2014). Interactional competence across proficiency levels: How do learners manage interaction in paired speaking tests? Applied Linguistics, 35(5), 553-574.

Grice,H . P. (1975).L ogica nd conversation. InP. Cole & J.M organ( Eds.), Syntax and semantics 3: Speech acts (pp. 41-58).N ew York:A cademic Press

Ikeda, K. (1998). The paired learner interview: A preliminary investigation applying Vygotskyan insights. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 11(1), 71-96.

Iwashita, N. (1998). The validity of the paired interview in oral performance assessment Melbourne Papers in Language Testing, 5(2), 51-65.

Kanga, K. N. (2012). Individual and paired oral proficiency testing: A study of learners' preference (Order No. 1517174). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1039138663). Retrieved from

MacAndrew, R., & Martínez, R. (2001). Taboos and issues. Language Teaching Publications.

Norton, J. (2005). The paired format in the Cambridge speaking tests. ELT, 59(4), 287-297.

O’Sullivan, B. (2002). Learner acquaintanceship and oral proficiency test pair-task performance. Language Testing, 19(3), 277-295.

van Lier, L. (1989). Reeling, writhing, drawling, stretching and fainting in coils: Oral proficiency interviews as conversation. TESOL Quarterly, 23(3), 489-508.

Van Moere, A. (2013). Paired and group oral assessment. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics (pp. 1-4). Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell

Weber, R. P. (1990). Basic content analysis (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2015. European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching (ISSN 2537-1754) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).