Ikhsanudin Ikhsanudin Author
Title: Testing Listening
Author: Ikhsanudin
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It may seem rather odd different to test listening separately from speaking, since the two skills are typically exercised together in oral i...
It may seem rather odd different to test listening separately from speaking, since the two skills are typically exercised together in oral interaction. However, there are occasions such as listening to the radio, listening to lecturer, or listening to railway station announcements, when no speaking is called for.

The special problems in constructing listening tests arise out of the transient nature of the spoken language. Listener can not usually move backwards and forwards over what is being said in the way that they can a written text. The one apparent exception to this, when a tape – recording is put at the listener’s disposal, does not represent a typical listening task for most people.

Specification what then candidates should be able to do.
In order that we should be clear about the population of abilities that we want to test, it is worthwhile specifying these as accurately and completely s possible.
Content
Operations
These may be at different levels of analysis. Thus, the following may be thought of as macro-skill
• Listening for specific information
• Obtaining gist of what is being said
• Following directions
• Following instructions
Micro skill might include:
• Interpretation of intonation patterns (recognitions of sarcasm, etc)
• Recognition of function of structure (such as interrogative as request, e.g. “could you pass the salt”)
 Types of text, these might be first specified as monologue, dialogue, or multi participant; and further specified: announcement, talk or lecture, instructions, directions, etc





Addressees, text may be intended for the general public, students, young children, etc
Topic, these will often be indicated in quite general terms.

Possible Technique
Multiple Choice. If multiple choice is to be used, then the alternatives must be kept short and simple.
Short answer. Provided that the items themselves are brief, and only really short responses are called for, short answer items can work well in listening tests.
Partial dictation. While partial dictation may not be a particularly authentic listening activity, it can be useful. It can also be used diagnostically to test students’ ability to cope with particular difficulties (such a weak forms in English).


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