Interlocutor support in oral proficiency interviews: The case of case

Anne Lazaraton

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83 Scopus citations


Despite a considerable amount of research on oral proficiency testing over the last 20 years, little is understood about the interview process itself and the spoken interaction that takes place in it. This article presents a qualitative analysis of one aspect of interviewer-candidate interaction, namely, the types of linguistic and interactional support that the native speaker interlocutor provides to the non-native speaker candidate in a one-on-one interview. Results indicate that eight types of interlocutor support are prevalent in the corpus of 58 transcribed Cambridge Assessment of Spoken English (CASE) interviews studied. It is suggested that these are positive findings in the sense that documented conversational practices are present in this assessment context; there is also reason for concern since the effect of such support on outcome ratings of proficiency remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage Testing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

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Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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