1 ANGLAIS LANGUE SECONDE ANG DEFINITION OF THE DOMAIN SEPTEMBRE 1995
2 ANGLAIS LANGUE SECONDE ANG DEFINITION OF THE DOMAIN SEPTEMBER 1995 Direction de la formation générale des adultes Service de l'évaluation des apprentissages
3 Gouvernement du Québec Ministère de l'éducation, ISBN Dépôt légal Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, 1995
4 INTRODUCTION This definition of the domain is intended mainly for those responsible for developing examinations for the English as a Second Language program, level five, in adult education. It will be used for summative evaluation purposes. In it are organized the representative elements of the program. The purpose of defining the domain is to ensure that all examinations are consistent with the overall program. The definition of the domain will help evaluators understand the principal orientations of the program, as well as its learning content and how it is distributed. It is a prerequisite for the development of examinations.
5 Table of Contents Page 1. Orientations Program Elements Content Skills Justification of Choices Summary of Program Content to Be Evaluated and Relative Importance Justification of Distribution Description of Observable Behaviour Listening Speaking Reading Writing Exam Characteristics Type of Exam Exam Parameters Passing Mark and Retake... 18
6 2 1. Orientations ORIENTATIONS CONSEQUENCES 1. The program's global objective is Evaluation will be based on the to permit the student to com- student's comprehension of authentic municate in a variety of real-life oral and written texts similar to those situations that he or she might presented in class. The selected texts reasonably be expected to will be ones that the student might encounter. reasonably be expected to encounter outside the classroom. As for expression, evaluation will be based on the student's ability to communicate a significant message in a variety of real-life situations. Therefore the student will perform a number of tasks in a variety of communicative contexts at different times and with different people. 2. The program attributes greater Marks will be attributed in the following importance to oral communi- way: cation than to written communication, and greater Listening: 35 % importance to comprehension Speaking: 30 % than to expression. The program Reading: 20 % specifies the relative importance Writing: 15 % of the four skills. Evaluation of the student's fluency, 3. The program places a great mastery of grammar, range of vocabuemphasis on the student's ability lary, pronunciation and use of to both receive and produce communication strategies is based on significant messages. the degree to which these elements aid or hinder communication.
7 3 2. Program Elements 2.1 Content 1 a) Relationships with Others written and oral invitations and responses; discussion of the future; narration of noteworthy personal experiences; written account of an event. b) Employment and Education written job advertisements; written job descriptions or conditions of admissibility; filling out application forms, registration forms; oral exchanges during an interview; past work experience and education; discussions of goals in education and employment; discussions of trades and occupations. c) Current Events newspaper articles on subjects of interest; radio, TV reports; discussions of current events. d) Places and Travel written requests for information about a place; written descriptions of a place; discussions of different communities and places. e) History and Biographies written historical accounts of people, places, things and events; discussions of historical events. 1. The content elements must be seen in the context of the skills (terminal objectives) described on pages 4, 5 and 6.
8 4 2.2 Skills a) Listening On hearing oral texts (narrations, instructions, opinions, descriptions, explanations) in a wide variety of real-life situations, the student will be able to: identify important details, key words and phrases in oral questions and declarations; identify the main idea in a short narrative; find complementary or contradictory information in different oral texts; distinguish between arguments for and arguments against; understand a problem stated by another person; identify the chronological sequence of events in a narrative; identify the important elements in how something functions; discern a condition; understand a conclusion; recognize statements or ideas reported by another person. b) Speaking In a wide variety of real-life situations, the student will be able to: describe events; narrate a story; request confirmation of a statement; confirm a statement; request clarification; reformulate an idea; clarify an idea; ask for, express and react to opinions;
9 5 ask open and closed questions; answer open and closed questions; object to a statement; state a problem; state a conclusion; reflect on the future; state alternatives; report another person's statement or question. c) Reading On reading written texts (narrations, descriptions, explanations, opinions, instructions), the student will be able to: identify the main idea; find complementary or contradictory information; distinguish between arguments for and arguments against an issue; recognize inconsistencies or contradictions within the same text, or in different texts; extrapolate information from the opening paragraph, main body and final paragraph of a text; extrapolate information from résumés or summaries; identify the important elements in how something functions; discern a condition; recognize a conclusion.
10 6 d) Writing In a limited number of real-life situations, the student will be able to: use proper grammar, vocabulary, and spelling to convey information in job application form or some other type of form; write clear instructions in a proper sequence; use proper grammar, vocabulary and spelling to request simple information in a routine situation; give a written account of an event. 2.3 Justification of Choices Content elements from the five contexts were retained for purposes of evaluation. In general, content elements are retained because of their importance in enabling the student to function in the targeted linguistic situations and because of their value in promoting the transfer of abilities to related situations. While content elements were retained for almost all topics in the "listening" category, an individual exam may draw on one topic to the exclusion of another in order to promote the thematic nature of the test, with a limited set of characters in a real-life situation. The terminal objectives to be evaluated remain constant. A large number of elements from the five topics were retained in order to evaluate speaking skills. However, as students are tested in a maximum of three situations and since these situations vary from student to student, a sufficient number of different test items is necessary to provide choice. A small number of content elements were retained in "reading" and "writing", given the limited range of tasks students are expected to perform in the written mode. No content elements were rejected for purposes of evaluation.
11 3. Summary of Program Content to Be Evaluated and Relative Importance CONTENT RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION SKILL 20 % 20 % LISTENING (see page 4) identify important details, key words and phrases, the narration of personal experiences main idea, complementary or contradictory information, discussion of the future the chronological sequence invitations and responses distinguish between arguments for and arguments against an issue understand stated problems, how something functions, conclusions, reported ideas discern a condition 35 % (1) 10 % SPEAKING (see page 5) describe events narration of personal experiences oral exchanges during a job interview narrate a story discussion of the future past work experience and education request confirmation, clarification invitations and responses goals in education and employment confirm, clarify an idea discussions of work, occupations, trades reformulate an idea ask for, express and react to opinions answer open and closed questions object to a statement state a problem, alternatives state a conclusion reflect on the future report another person's idea 30 % (5) 5 % (6) 10 % READING (see page 5) identify the main idea, complementary or contradictory job descriptions, conditions of admissibility information, inconsistencies, the conclusion employment ads distinguish between arguments for and arguments against an issue extrapolate information 20 % (10) 5 % WRITING (see page 6) write clear instructions invitations and responses job application forms use proper grammar, vocabulary and spelling in account of personal experiences registration forms applications and requests for information give a written account of an event 15 % (14) 5 % (15) 5 %
12 CONTENT CURRENT EVENTS PLACES AND TRAVEL HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHIES SKILL 20 % 20 % 20 % LISTENING (see page 4) identify important details, key words and phrases, radio reports discussions of different commu- discussions of historical events the main idea, complementary or contradictory discussions of current events nities and places and figures information, the chronological sequence distinguish between arguments for and arguments against an issue understand stated problems, how something functions, conclusions, reported ideas discern a condition 35 % (2) 10 % (3) 5 % (4) 10 % SPEAKING (see page 5) describe events discussions of current events and discussions and comparisons of historical and biographical narrate a story issues destinations accounts request confirmation, clarification descriptions of one's own milieu confirm, clarify an idea in comparison to another reformulate an idea ask for, express and react to opinions answer open and closed questions object to a statement state a problem, alternatives state a conclusion reflect on the future report another person's idea 30 % (7) 5 % (8) 5 % (9) 5 % READING (see page 5) identify the main idea, complementary or newspaper articles on subjects of descriptions of a place written historical accounts contradictory information, inconsistencies, the interest conclusion distinguish between arguments for and arguments against an issue extrapolate information 20 % (11) 5 % (12) 5 % (13) 5 % WRITING (see page 6) write clear instructions request for information about a use proper grammar, vocabulary and spelling in place applications and requests for information give a written account of an event 15 % (16) 5 %
13 9 3.1 Justification of Distribution The program establishes the relative importance of the four skills listening, speaking, reading and writing. These values are respected in the distribution: Listening 35 % Speaking 30 % Reading 20 % Writing 15 % Content elements were retained in each of the five unit-settings. The distribution is as follows: Relationships with Others 20 % Education and Employment 20 % Current Events 20 % Places and Travel 20 % History and Biographies 20 % Such a distribution reflects to a large extent the number of intermediate objectives in each unit-setting. It must be noted, however, that many test items, because of their functional and notional content, apply to several linguistic settings. Thus, test items evaluating similar content elements from several settings may be grouped into one setting. The weighting of each dimension reflects the relative importance of these content elements in the program as well as the eventual application by the average student learning English in Québec.
14 10 4. Description of Observable Behaviour 4.1 Listening (Dimensions 1, 2, 3, 4) The oral texts will be presented in the context of real-life situations. The subjects of the texts will be both concrete and abstract (e.g. attitudes about lifestyles). Contextual support will be provided in the form of clear drawings, sound effects and written texts. The texts will reflect the degree of difficulty exhibited in the communicative situations. Some of the texts will contain complex sentences, with occasional linguistic screens and some unfamiliar vocabulary. The student will demonstrate his or her listening skills (identifying, contrasting, distinguishing, discerning, concluding, comparing) by: choosing the appropriate element from among several written or pictorial alternatives; matching related written or pictorial elements in relation to an oral message; indicating the correct sequence corresponding to oral stimuli; indicating the correct information in writing, to correspond to oral stimuli (one-word answer, short answer). 4.2 Speaking (Dimensions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) This skill will be evaluated within the context of real-life situations wherein the student will be required to perform specific communicative tasks corresponding to the objectives of the program. Evaluation will be based on the student's ability to convey a significant message rather than on the form of the discourse. The evaluation activities will be simulations, role-playing, problemsolving as well as communicative games, discussions and debates.
15 11 The student will demonstrate his or her speaking skills by: conveying a complete and comprehensible message in response to the tasks assigned (comprehensibility); conveying the message with ease (fluency); using language structures and vocabulary to communicate the message accurately and appropriately (grammar + vocabulary); using proper pronunciation, rhythm, stress and intonation to convey a message that is easily comprehensible to a native speaker (pronunciation); overcoming communication breakdown by the use of rephrasing, circumlocution, appeals to the interlocutor, repetition, substitution and explanation (communicative strategies). The allocation of marks for the various elements of observable behaviour is the following: Comprehensibility 10 % Fluency 5 % Grammar + Vocabulary 5 % Pronunciation 5 % Communicative Strategies 5 % A detailed evaluation grid for this skill is found on page 12. A marking grid, including the five evaluation criteria for speaking and the three tasks to be completed by each student, is found on page 13. Note that 30 points ( ) are allotted to each task and that the potential total of 90 points for the three tasks must be divided by three to obtain the final mark out of 30.
16 EVALUATION GRID SPEAKING CRITERIA WEIGHTING message not conveyed hardly any message con- any teacher most of message conveyed any teacher complete message con- wrong message conveyed veyed hesitation communicative task hesitation veyed COMPREHENSIBILITY message irrelevant to task major inaccuracies in partially completed task succesfully completed communicative task not message performed communicative task for the most part not performed isolated words or phrases unnatural, halting speech any teacher uneven flow of speech any teacher almost natural, smooth giving no general idea no linking of ideas hesitation frequent hesitations, pauses hesitation speech frequent pauses, hesita- certain lack of continuity some slight hesitations, FLUENCY tions, false starts small degree of frustration very short pauses definite effort and frustra- occasional groping for easy linking of ideas tion words minimum of searching, inability to complete idea frustration GRAMMAR AND VOCABULARY errors leading to confused many errors, some of which any teacher many minor errors, few of any teacher occasional minor errors not message lead to misinterpretation hesitation which lead to misinterpreta- hesitation leading to misinterpretation completely inappropriate speech inappropriate to tion general awareness of to roles and socio- roles and socio-linguistic some awareness of speech speech appropriate to roles linguistic conventions conventions appropriate to roles and and socio-linguistic socio-linguistic conventions conventions speech unintelligible to poor pronunciation, rhythm, any teacher frequent faulty pronuncia- any teacher speech easily intelligible to native speaker stress, intonation hesitation tion, rhythm, stress, intona- hesitation native speaker despite PRONUNCIATION speech difficult to under- tion minor faults in pronunciastand for native speaker generally intelligible to tion, rhythm, stress, intonative speaker nation no use of communicative limited ability to recognize any teacher some ability to recognize any teacher ability to recognize errors, strategies errors, inaccuracies hesitation errors, inaccuracies hesitation inaccuracies and correct very limited ability to re- certain skills in rephrasing, them COMMUNICATIVE phrase, repeat, simplify, cir- repetition, circumlocution, effective use of rephrasing, STRATEGIES cumlocute, appeal to inter- simplification repetition, circumlocution, locutor for assistance limited appeal for assistance simplification frequent appeal to mother from interlocutor ability to appeal to intertongue occasional appeal to mother locutor for assistance tongue
18 Reading (Dimensions 10, 11, 12, 13) The written texts will resemble authentic written documents that the student is likely to encounter and that have been studied (newspaper articles, historical accounts, job descriptions and conditions of admissibility, application forms, documents describing a place, employment ads, invitations). The student will demonstrate his or her reading abilities (identifying, contrasting, distinguishing, concluding, extrapolating, comparing) by: using the written document (e.g. a newspaper article) to successfully complete a task (e.g. identify the main idea of a paragraph); matching a written message to a pictorial representation; making the appropriate written reply to a written stimulus; choosing the appropriate element from among several written or pictorial alternatives; rearranging several written or pictorial elements in terms of sequence, chronology, degree, etc. 4.4 Writing (Dimensions 14, 15, 16) Writing skills will be evaluated within the context of real-life situations wherein the student will be required to perform specific communicative tasks, corresponding to the objectives. A detailed evaluation checklist for this skill is found on the next page. The answer key will indicate when the proposed checklist should be used. The tasks will be drawn from dimensions 14, 15 and 16 (application forms, registration forms, requests for information, invitations and responses, and a description of a personal experience). The student will demonstrate his or her writing skills by: writing one-word, short-phrase and short-sentence responses to a written stimulus; written one-word, short-phrase and short-sentence responses to an oral stimulus; writing short letters of up to 150 words based on a topic familiar to the student or on information supplied by the examiner.
19 15 EVALUATION CHECKLIST FOR ADMINISTRATIVE USE IN WRITTEN EXPRESSION The following set of criteria can be used in evaluating the student's writing to accomplish a particular task. message completely conveyed communicative task successfully completed appropriate use of vocabulary 5/5 natural language structure correct spelling message completely conveyed communicative task successfully completed appropriate use of vocabulary 4/5 minor errors in language structure not leading to misinterpretation minor errors in spelling not leading to misinterpretation message mostly conveyed communicative task for the most part completed minor inappropriateness in use of vocabulary errors in language structure leading to a possibility of misinterpretation some errors in spelling occasionally hindering comprehension 3/5 message partly conveyed communicative task partially completed frequent inappropriateness in vocabulary use and language structure 2/5 leading to difficulties in interpretation frequent errors in spelling leading to difficulties in interpretation message barely conveyed communicative task for the most part not completed major errors in use of vocabulary, language structure and spelling leading to incomprehension or misinterpretation 1/5 no message conveyed 0/5
20 16 5. Exam Characteristics 5.1 Type of Exam There will be two types of exams: oral exams, which measure speaking, and a final written exam, which measures listening, reading and writing. The oral exams will count for 30 %. The final exam will count for 70 % (listening 35 %, reading 20 %, writing 15 %). 5.2 Exam Parameters a) Oral Exam (Speaking) Content The activities used in evaluation will be simulations, role-playing, problem-solving as well as communicative games, discussions and debates. Not all students will be evaluated on the same task. However, each student will be required to undertake a sampling of communicative tasks of comparable difficulty from dimensions 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Schedule There will be three evaluation sessions for each student held at different times throughout the course. The three sessions will be held to correspond to the following unit-settings: Session 1 Relationships with Others Session 2 Employment and Education Current Events Session 3 Places and Travel History and Biographies The sequence in which the evaluation sessions are presented is left entirely to the discretion of the teacher. The total time allotted to the evaluation of speaking should not exceed, on the average, four minutes per student per evaluation session (twelve minutes per course).
21 17 Organization The student will be observed as he or she performs a specific communicative task within a small group (2 to 4 people). The oral evaluation will be a regular part of the second-language classroom. The student must be informed when he or she is being evaluated and on what criteria. It is important to reiterate that summative evaluation, which counts towards the student's final mark, can take place only on completion of the integrated learning activities and formative evaluation designed to help the student measure his or her progress. Materials The evaluation material will include a sufficient number of test items to evaluate speaking skills for each session. A teacher's copy and, when necessary, a student's copy of the items will be provided. Many of the test items can be adapted so as to be more pertinent to individual students' situations. Suggestions to this end accompany many items. Examiners may use the evaluation and marking grids in this guide to record marks. b) Final Exam (Listening, Reading, Writing) Content The final exam will comprise Part 1 (listening) corresponding to dimensions 1 4, and Part 2 (reading and writing) corresponding to dimensions Schedule The final exam will be held at the end of the 100-hour session or on completion of the course. The total time for Part 1 of the exam is determined by the audio recording which, once started, must not be stopped (approximatively one hour). Part 2 must be completed within ninety minutes. The exams may or may not be given consecutively. Normally, Part 1 is administered before Part 2.
22 18 Organization The final exam can be given to the students as a group or on an individual basis. Materials The instructions and stimuli for Part 1 of the final exam will be presented both on paper and on audio tape. The evaluation materials include: an audio recording on cassette; a tapescript; a student's booklet; a student's answer sheet; a correction key. The instructions and stimuli for Part 2 of the final exam will be presented only on paper. The evaluation materials include: a student's booklet; a student's answer sheet; a correction key. Students are allowed to use dictionaries for Part 2 of the final exam. They are not, however, permitted to use class notes. More than one form of exam is available. 5.3 Passing Mark and Retake The student must obtain 60 percent when the marks for all three parts (listening, reading and writing, and speaking) are combined. In those cases where 60 percent is not attained, students are required to retake the part they did not succeed or the combined parts of the exam. Of course, such retakes should be administered only after sufficient language acquisition has occurred to permit a reasonable chance of success. A different version of the exam is used.
23 Gouvernement du Québec Ministère de l Éducation A
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