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Common European Framework of Reference Rating Scale: Scaling Its Functionality Through ESL Learners’ Self- and Peer Assessments

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The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) was empirically derived from experienced teachers’ intuitive judgements and although it may seem adequate, assessment theorists argue on the absence of performance data-driven approach in structuring its rating scale. Therefore, the objective of this study was to gauge rating scale functioning of five CEFR oral assessment criteria (overall impression, range, accuracy, fluency and coherence), based on ratings awarded by intermediate ESL learners during self- and peer assessments of their speaking skills. Before learners embarked on awarding ratings to their own performance as well as their peers,’ they were trained to understand and apply the criteria and the corresponding ratings based on the benchmarked videos provided on the CEFR official website. Findings on rater measurement report suggest that learners were within productive measurement range based on their infit and outfit mean-squares and the reliability of their ratings was reported at 0.91. However, only four out of six rating categories were utilized in all five CEFR oral assessment criteria and this was illustrated through category probability curve for each criterion. The implications of the findings are discussed in view of learner performance and classroom instruction.
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Keywords: CEFR Rating Scale; Oral Proficiency; Peer-Assessment; Self-Assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Malaysia 2: Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Malaysia

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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