A micro-analytic investigation into EFL teachers' language test item reviewing interactions

Can, Hümeyra
This study brings an interactional perspective to the construction of syllabus-based language tests and the stage of item reviewing (IR) in particular by using Conversation Analysis (CA). Drawing on a corpus of video-recordings of IR sessions (25 hours) in an English preparatory school at a state university in Turkey, it investigates how EFL teachers review language test items prepared for their students in and through interaction with the item writer who is one of the teachers assigned in the testing office of the school. Following the principles of CA, the initial analysis showed that the interactions mainly focused on the problematic items and they were made up of three recurring phases; (1) problematizing the item (PI), (2) suggesting a change (SC), and (3) reviewing the change (RC). The micro-analysis generated models for the overall structural organization of these emerging phases and revealed recurring interactional actions that led to mutual understanding and joint decision-making about the test item. The teachers were also found to display an orientation to various testing principles in and through talk as they collaboratively reviewed and revised the test items. Additionally, the interactions showed an orientation to the institutional role distribution of the participants although there was clear evidence for their shared responsibility and equal engagement in the IR task. This study is expected to contribute to conversation analytic studies of language testing and teacher-to-teacher institutional talk, and has implications for language test construction, EFL teachers’ professional competence, and L2 teacher education.
Citation Formats
H. Can, “A micro-analytic investigation into EFL teachers’ language test item reviewing interactions,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2020.