Assessment of Speaking Skills
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.
1. speaking intelligibly using appropriate word stress, sentence stress and intonation patterns.
2. narrating incidents and events, real or imaginary in a logical sequence.
3. presenting oral reports or summaries; making announcements clearly and confidently.
4. expressing and arguing a point of view clearly and effectively.
5. taking active part in group discussions, showing ability to express agreement or disagreement,
summarising ideas, eliciting the views of others, and presenting own ideas.
6. expressing and responding to personal feelings, opinions and attitudes.
7. participating in spontaneous spoken discourse in familiar social situations.
The total administration time for the speaking test is approximately 10-12 minutes
2 The speaking test will be conducted for two students at a time.
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:
The Interlocutor converses with the two candidates. Simple warm up questions based on the candidates’ names, place
of residence, leisure preferences etc are asked.
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
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.
Note: In the Summative II assessment it has been proposed to record the candidates’ performance in the
MP 3 players/ recorders, so as to validate and make the test reliable and fair.
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