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Home Journal Index 2020-4

Development and Construct Validation of a Diagnostic Pronunciation Rating Scale by Many-Facet Rasch Analysis

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Sen Liu
East China Normal University, China

Zijie Niu
East China Normal University, China

Yuanyue Hao
University of Oxford, UK

Assessment of pronunciation has long been established as an integral component of speaking assessment, usually combined with other dimensions such as fluency, lexico-grammatical resources and topic development to generate an overall score for the speaking section in major English tests. Few studies have focused on assessment of pronunciation per se, which plays a critical role in pedagogical context such as pre-service teacher training. This study attempts to develop a diagnostic rating scale of pronunciation for the purpose of pronunciation instruction in a pedagogical practice and provide supporting evidence for the construct validity of the scale by many-facet Rasch analysis. Results from statistical analysis suggest overall satisfactory construct validity of the scale. The statistical findings are further corroborated by focus group interviews with raters and examinees. This study has implications for second language pronunciation instruction, assessment and self-learning, as well as the development and validation of diagnostic rating scale of other aspects of organizational competence.

Pronunciation assessment, diagnostic rating scale, construct validity, many-facet Rasch model, scale development and validation