Assessing Spoken Proficiency: Holistic and Analytic Ways of Scoring

Rastislav Metruk, University of Žilina, Slovakia;      Abstract: Carrying out a proper and objective evaluation of spoken proficiency of foreign language learners is a rather challenging task. This paper is concerned with the two ways of assessment which are commonly applied when evaluating the skill of speaking, namely holistic and analytic approach. First, the two approaches are introduced and described. Next, their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, the article elaborates on several aspects that need to be considered when the analytic approach is applied, such as identification of the selected criteria, their amount, their weight in connection to other categories, and the like. The paper concludes that both types of scoring have their advantages and downsides and ideally, it is the combination of both approaches that most often yields in objective and reliable assessment of a candidate’s speaking ability.

Keywords: Assessing speaking, holistic ways of scoring, analytic ways of scoring, assessment criteria

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