L1 and Listening Proficiency in Paired Speaking

This report presents a study of the relationship between test-takersʼ L1, listening proficiency and their performance on paired speaking tests. Forty participants from two different L1 backgrounds (20 Urdu L1 speakers and 20 Thai L1 speakers) participated in the study. They took two paired speaking tests: one with a shared L1 partner, and one with a non-shared L1 partner, as well as a listening test and a monologic speaking test to measure their listening and individual speaking ability. After each paired speaking test, the participants were also interviewed about their test-taking experience. All speaking tests and interviews were video-recorded and transcribed. Raters awarded test-takersʼ analytical speaking test scores (grammar and vocabulary, discourse management, pronunciation and interactive communication) and they also provided written comments on reasons for their scores. Additionally, raters participated in retrospective interview sessions. A mixed-methods approach was utilised to analyse and triangulate different kinds of data. The data analysed in this study were listening and speaking test scores, the ratersʼ retrospective interviews on their perception of the test-takersʼ speaking performance and written comments on the reasons for awarding the test-takersʼ speaking test score, the test-takersʼ retrospective interviews, and the interactional discourse data in the paired speaking formats. Quantitative analysis, Conversation Analysis (CA) and other qualitative analyses were used to inform the relationship between test-takersʼ listening proficiency, their L1 and their paired speaking performance.