This paper discusses the development of an assessment to satisfy the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Language Proficiency Requirements. The Versant Aviation English Test utilizes speech recognition technology and a computerized testing platform, such that test administration and scoring are fully automated. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Aviation Ad- ministration, this 25-minute test is delivered via a telephone or computer.
Two issues of interest are discussed in this paper. The first concerns the practicalities of assessing candidates in each of six separate dimensions of spoken proficiency: Pronunciation, Structure, Vocabulary, Fluency, Comprehension, and Interactions. Although an automated scoring system can objectively segregate these skills, we question whether human raters have the capacity to do this in oral interviews. The second issue discussed is how an automated test can provide a valid assessment of spoken interactions.
PDF File – 5.2 Mb