Techniques of testing listening

Listening is perceived differently in different ears. Testing listening and the ability to communicate or comprehend should be emphasized while testing listening.

In other words, the listening test should mention the ability of communicative comprehension. Language skills can be improved with proper stress, rhythm, and intonation.

The following techniques can be used while testing listening skills:

  • Sound discrimination
  • Statements and dialogues
  • Testing through visual materials
  • Testing through texts

Sound discrimination

The testees are provided the same sounds to discriminate in the particular language. For example, the English language learner will be provided the sounds /ʃ/, and /s/ in the words ‘see ‘ and ‘she’ /I/ and /i:/in the words ‘tips ‘ and ‘teen’ respectively and so on. Stress and intonations are also useful ways of testing through sound discrimination.

Statements and dialogues

The testee is provided the same sentences and dialogues to listen to. The tester evaluates the listening whether s/he has properly got the utterance or not. Under this method, we can follow statement evaluation, sentence repetition, phrase reorganization, response evaluation, and so on.

Testing through visual materials

Here, visual materials refer to audio-visual materials for listening such as television, computer, etc. The test is provided the listening test with visual. The testee is asked to recall the facts or translate.

Testing through texts

Texts refer to the printed materials used for the listening test. The test has to deal with the short answer question, listening and note-taking, multiple-choice questions, responding to spoken input, dictation, and so on.

All in all, testing listening is the process of ear training. The testee has to identify the sounds, discriminate between minimal pairs, and contrast between requests, commands, exclamations, etc.

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