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Second language pronunciation assessment: A look at the present and the future

Trofimovich, P; Isaacs, T; (2016) Second language pronunciation assessment: A look at the present and the future. In: Second Language Pronunciation Assessment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. (pp. 259-271). Multilingual Matters Green open access

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Abstract

Over three decades ago, Michael Canale summarized what he considered to be the challenges facing language assessment in the era of communicative language learning and teaching: Just as the shift in emphasis from language form to language use has placed new demands on language teaching, so too has it placed new demands on language testing. Evaluation within a communicative approach must address, for example, new content areas such as sociolin- guistic appropriateness rules, new testing formats to permit and encour- age creative, open-ended language use, new test administration procedures to emphasize interpersonal interaction in authentic situa- tions, and new scoring procedures of a manual and judgemental nature. (Canale, 1984: 79) Applied to second language (L2) pronunciation assessment, this descrip- tion remains highly relevant today, raising a number of important issues, such as: broadening the scope of pronunciation assessment beyond the focus on a single aspect of pronunciation (e.g. segmental accuracy) or a single standard (e.g. absence of a discernible nonnative accent); targeting pronunciation assess- ment for various interlocutors in interactive settings, for instance, outside a typical focus on academic performance by students in Western societies; as well as developing and fine-tuning novel assessment instruments and proce- dures. Above all, Canale’s description aptly summarizes an ongoing quest in language assessment to capture the authenticity and interactiveness of language use (e.g. Bachman, 1990; Bachman & Palmer, 2010). The contribu- tions to this edited volume address some of the challenges identified by Canale in innovative ways. Before summarizing these contributions, we hasten to add that no edited volume, including this one, can provide an exhaustive overview of all possible issues in L2 pronunciation assessment; most chapters in this volume are focused on testing or informal evaluative judgements of speech in real-world settings and not on classroom-based assessment, including diagnostic assessment or feedback on test takers’ per- formance. However, the range of topics, the variety of research methodologies and paradigms, and the scope of implications featured here make this volume a timely addition to the growing area of L2 pronunciation assessment.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Second language pronunciation assessment: A look at the present and the future
ISBN-13: 9781783096831
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.21832/ISAACS6848
Publisher version: https://www.multilingual-matters.com/page/detail/?...
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140586
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