Gordon Bateson

Kochi University of Technology


Sessions

Preparing for online assessment of speaking and writing in the new Center Exam

Zoom D

This presentation will introduce an open-source, online tool for assessing English ability, that features the automatic grading of not only reading and listening, but also speaking and writing. This four-skills test will allow the general English ability of large numbers of students to be checked quickly online, thus making it suitable for use in entrance exams and placements tests, as well as preparation for the new Center Exam to be introduced in Japan in 2024. The major commercial tests, including TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS and Eiken, are all available online nowadays and most include speaking and writing sections. However, the use of human assessors means that the fees for taking these tests are high, and furthermore the results only become available a few weeks after the test has been taken. To overcome these issues, a new open-source test is proposed that is based around the Moodle LMS. The test features several new plugins to automatically grade speaking and writing. The presenter will detail the development of the plugins, reveal the preliminary version of the test, and explain how the the reliability of the test will be verified by comparing students' scores with human-ratings and widely used tests such as IELTS, TOEIC and CASEC.