First Advisor

LaRay M. Barna

Term of Graduation

Winter 1982

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers, Communicative competence



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 128 pages)


The purpose of the research was to develop a test of oral communicative competence for English as a Second Language (ESL) students at the college level.

This research first reviewed the current literature on the topic of communicative competence from the perspectives of linguistics and sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and speech communication. The 1iterature on testing for communicative competence within the ESL and foreign language teaching fields was also reviewed. A 7-minute oral semi-direct taped test was then developed and administered to a trial group of 5 ESL students and a final group of 25 ESL students at Portland State University. The test consisted of 5 short information questions and 10 social situations to which the subject was requested to respond. The test was rated for three separate criteria: intelligibility, grammatical correctness, and appropriateness. Two different raters were used for each criterion; another rater rated for all criteria. A reliability study was conducted on the raters wherein the reliability of the raters was shown to be significantly high. The validity of the test was established by conducting face-to-face interviews with the trial and final subjects prior to their taking the taped tests. The results showed that the degree of association between the overall ratings on the taped test and the overall ratings on the interview was significant, though not significant for individual criteria. A correlation with the CELT listening comprehension test was not significant.


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