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Title:The Elicited Imitation Task as a method for French proficiency assessment in institutional and research settings
Author(s):Gaillard, Stephanie
Director of Research:Davidson, Frederick G.; Tremblay, Annie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fagyal, Zsuzsanna
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Davidson, Frederick G.; Tremblay, Annie
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language assessment
Second Language Proficiency Measure in L2 French
Validity in language testing
Elicited Imitation Task (EIT) as a measure of L2 French
French Proficiency Assessment
Abstract:This doctoral research investigates the validity of an Elicited Imitation Task (EIT) for evaluating French proficiency assessment in both research and classroom settings. The goal is to supplement the French tests used for placement at the University of Illinois. The motivation for the current research project comes from the observation that an investigation on French proficiency testing is necessary since there is a real need for an aural/oral evaluation tool to assess global proficiency in Second Language Acquisition research for French. Moreover, the current University French placement test does not align completely with its teaching methodology used since no aural/oral component is provided. Hence, motivation for this study comes from its dual mandate (research and classroom placement). In Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research and language teaching for French, there is a need for a placement test component that can be administered in the aural/oral channel. The outcome from the 200 EIT test takers will be presented in relation to the findings of other assessments used to evaluate French global proficiency. From these data, the researcher will develop an interpretive argument for the EIT test-score interpretation and use. This work is essential to complete the validity report on the French EIT, and to do so the researcher will follow the validity framework developed by Chapelle et al. (2008). To the best of my knowledge, no study to date has investigated the development of an EIT for French within this dual faceted (research and institutional) setting, or used two fields of applied linguistics to justify the use of such a language test component. Furthermore, this research provides unique insights, as the EIT scores are observed across an entire undergraduate foreign language learner sequence. Hence, it is hoped that the research presented in this dissertation will contribute to a better understanding of how an aural/oral test component, used for L2 proficiency purposes in combination with other measures, is built following the principles of language testing. This study will also help various stakeholders (i.e., SLA scholars, instructors, language program directors) to have a better understanding of test validity by breaking down the validation process of a low stake test while addressing the challenges linked to the particular (dual) mandate of this aural/oral assessment. The validation of the EIT is the focus of this research, and this test validation will hopefully encourage appropriate test creation and validation for future test developers and test users. It is also hoped that this research will encourage more interdisciplinary work.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Stephanie Gaillard
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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