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The evaluation of oral production in English of candidates for job positions: instruments used and evaluators' judgements

Grant number: 12/19255-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2013
Effective date (End): January 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature
Principal Investigator:Matilde Virginia Ricardi Scaramucci
Grantee:Fabio Fernandes Madeira Lourenço
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The purpose of this project is to discuss oral evaluation in a context of job selection for positions that require this skill. The main goals are two, interrelated. First I will investigate the instruments that are most frequently used to measure oral production and the lexical and grammar items that are necessary for the production of those genres. I will then start a reflexive discussion about the construct of oral proficiency, on which the oral process evaluation is based, in that context. I will investigate the concept of oral proficiency that the evaluators and the candidates have: the criteria adopted by the evaluators to measure oral production and the one presented by the candidates in order to acquire oral fluency in the language. This research is valid to justify two main questions. First, it is necessary to search for relevant and pragmatic material for English courses - to make the teaching more functional. Second, it will help the learner understand more clearly what it means to speak the language fluently and to become a fluent speaker. Above all, this investigation is relevant to promote more understanding in this context, as more data is necessary. The results of this investigation aim to promote functionality to the teaching/learning context - to search relevant and pragmatic content to the learning process - and to explain to the learners what precisely means to speak the language fluently - to help him/her become a fluent speaker of the language. The participants of this investigation are evaluators and candidates who have already been through professional selections in which there was oral production evaluation. This research is inserted in the qualitative/interpretative paradigm and will have four data-collecting instruments. The results should present elucidation about the most frequently used evaluation instruments, their linguistic characteristics, and about the concept of oral fluency presented by evaluators and by job candidates.