An Investigation into Libyan EFL Novice Secondary School Teachers' Current Knowledge and Practice of Speaking Assessment: A Socio-cultural Perspective
Grada, Taaziz Khaled A
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This study sought to further understanding of EFL teachers’ knowledge of speaking assessment and how their knowledge informs their speaking assessment practices in classrooms. Based on a socio-cultural perspective, the present study aimed at investigating EFL novice teachers’ current knowledge and practice of speaking assessment in a Libyan secondary school context. The study is based on the interpretive paradigm and adopted social constructionism as a philosophical stance. Quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were employed in two sequential phases. The findings of this study indicated that EFL novice teachers’ current knowledge of speaking assessment is complex and that was reflected in the different ways these teachers interpreted the concept of speaking assessment and in the ways they expressed their beliefs and values regarding how speaking assessment needs to be or is implemented in the classroom settings. Three main issues regarding teachers’ knowledge of speaking assessment emerged from the data. The first issue is that these teachers, although showing some variability in their knowledge and practice, seem to base their assessment practice on a view of spoken language being more about linguistic content than communicative effect. Secondly, that they mostly seem to afford more importance to summative assessment than to formative assessment. Thirdly, they have a view of assessment that focuses on the content to be assessed rather than on the process of assessment. The findings also indicated that while teachers refer to contextual factors that influence how they implement their knowledge into practice, their understanding of the notion of assessment seems to have more influence on their implementation of speaking assessment as process than that of the context. That is, their current understandings of the notion of spoken language seem to contribute to their current practice of speaking assessment. Also of significance are the participants’ views of the role of context. The results showed that although contexts are similar in some aspects, especially those related to institutional factors, teachers’ views show the uniqueness of the context, especially in the light of the unanticipated social, political and institutional changes. The implications of this study suggest that these EFL novice teachers’ current knowledge of language and of assessment goes beyond factual knowledge to their perceptions of language and their understandings of the purpose of assessment. They also suggest that context plays a role on their current knowledge and practice of speaking assessment. Thus, this study provides further understanding that what these teachers know and how they use their knowledge in practice arises from a complex interweaving of context and individual understandings.
Libyan Higher Ministry of Education
PhD in Education