The use and impact of pre-task planning time in the monologic task of LanguageCert speaking tests




Section: Regular Articles




Extensive oral tasks or monologues of different types (e.g., presentations, storytelling) are often used as second language acquisition tasks in the fields of language learning and language testing. Pre-task planning time is a common provision to test-takers who may use different strategies to prepare their response. High-stakes tests, such as the LanguageCert IESOL suite of tests, include planning time prior to monologic tasks and offer test-takers the opportunity for note-making. While the language assessment literature supports planning time for reasons of face validity and fairness, research studies do not consistently support correlations between planning and performance. The current study examined the differences between the scores of test-takers who used note-making as a strategy and those who did not. The research questions investigated: (i) whether test-takers who make notes during planning time in the monologue task of an L2-English B2 speaking task are awarded higher scores on their spoken performances than test-takers who do not and (ii) test-takers’ perceptions of their use of planning time. The findings suggest that making notes did not improve test-takers’ performance against any of the rating criteria used in the assessment. It also revealed that most test-takers use their planning time to generate their main propositions.

Keywords: speaking exans, oral tests, planning time, pre-task planning, Languagecert exams

Suggested Citation:

Lampropoulou, L. (2023). The use and impact of pre-task planning time in the monologic task of LanguageCert speaking tests. Language Education & Assessment, 6(1), 1–18.


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