The Impact of Test Mode on the Use of Communication Strategies in Paired Discussion

  • Yan Jin
  • Lin Zhang


In order to meet the growing demands for oral English proficiency certification among college students in China, the National College English Testing Committee, in collaboration with an IT company, has recently developed the computer-based College English Test—Spoken English Test (CET-SET) to replace the traditional face-to-face interview format. The previous face-to-face version used the group format of testing, where two examiners interviewed three candidates at a time. The candidates undertook several tasks as a group, one of which was a discussion task requiring the three of them to participate in a five-minute discussion among themselves (see National College English Testing Committee, 1999 for a detailed description). The computer-based CET-SET adopts similar testing procedures and tasks. However, it takes an examiner-absent paired format, in which two candidates are randomly paired and work on the test tasks on their own. One of the tasks is paired discussion, where the two candidates discuss a given topic through earphones. The reason for the switch from a group format to a paired format is the difficulties that raters may encounter in discerning more than two voices in the recordings when scoring the discussion task.


Communication Strategy Interaction Strategy Language Test Oral Assessment Strategic Competence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Yan Jin and Lin Zhang 2016

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  • Yan Jin
  • Lin Zhang

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