Designing a set of specifications for a 9th grade-speaking test in Portuguese secondary schools
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The topic of this study regards speaking assessment and the research is focused on the possibility of obtaining a set of specifications that helps my schools teachers design valid and reliable speaking assessment tools. I describe my schools context and analyse the reasons why there is the need to reinforce speaking assessment and, afterwards, I analyse and compare different speaking exams. From this analysis and comparison, a set of specifications is derived and applied in the design of a sample test. The topic of speaking assessment is relevant because it focuses on an area and a skill that have somewhat been neglected in the context of EFL learning, teaching and testing in Portugal. In addition, the introduction of a national school-leaving speaking exam, which has direct impact on the students final mark, raised awareness for the need for changes in our practice that imply testing speaking and listening thoroughly.