An analysis of the criteria proposed by Arthur Hughes to assess oral ability

Jun 22nd, 2015
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In chapter ten of the book Testing for Language Teachers (Cambridge Language Teaching Library, 1989), Arthur Hughes proposes a set of criterial levels to asses a student's oral ability in a Proficiency level. In this essay, I am going to analyze if those criteria are still the ideal model to be followed when testing oral ability

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Federal University of Minas GeraisEnglish: Oral ExpressionKarina Helen BruggerProfessor Thiago Nascimento An analysis of the criteria proposed by Arthur Hughes to assess oral abilityBelo Horizonte, November 27th, 2014In chapter ten of the book Testing for Language Teachers (Cambridge Language Teaching Library, 1989), Arthur Hughes proposes a set of criterial levels to asses a student's oral ability in a Proficiency level. In this essay, I am going to analyze if those criteria are still the ideal model to be followed when testing oral ability, and if not, how they can be adapted to today's reality. This analysis will be done using as a support the criteria developed by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).1. AccentFrom grades 1 to 3, the criteria are still acceptable; most of the spoken English tests we have today demand intelligibility from the speakers. As long as their native accent doesn't impair communication, they deserve a good grade. Now, from grades 4 to 6 there is a problem. Arthur considers as a perfect oral production not having traces of foreign accent; this is widely criticized today, and was also criticized at the time he

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