The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Shawn Jarvis

Second Advisor

Chookyong Kim

Third Advisor

Semya Hakim

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

TESOL, oral assessment, student perceptions, assessment format, one-on-one interview, paired interaction


The aim of this classroom-based research project was to gain insight into student perceptions and performances in two different oral assessment formats: a one-on-one interview with the teacher and a paired interaction with a classmate. The participants were 6 female and 6 male international students enrolled in high-intermediate level ESL courses in the Intensive English Center at a mid-size university. In a within-subject designed format, the students alternated the order in which they participated in the test formats, with two alternating speaking prompts. Data collected via pre-test and post-test questionnaires was analyzed in terms of seven themes of perception: nervousness, preparedness, interest, interaction, effectiveness of format, belief in performance, and preference. The results indicated that students’ attitudes towards the two formats were generally positive and that there was not a significant difference in regard to themes of perception within the two formats. After performing a paired samples t-test with the average group scores from the two assessments, results revealed that the test format did not have a statistically significant effect on performance. However, as evidenced by post-test questionnaire data and student commentary analysis, it can be concluded that the two test formats are not equal interactions and should not be considered equal measurements of oral proficiency. The implication on pedagogy is that teachers should utilize the two test formats for different purposes in their assessment practices.