Teaching English Speaking and English Speaking Tests in the Thai Context: A Reflection from Thai Perspective

  •  Attapol Khamkhien    


To successfully assess how language learners enhance their performance and achieve language learning goals, the four macro skills of listening, speaking reading and writing are usually the most frequently assessed and focused areas.  However, speaking, as a productive skill, seems intuitively the most important of all the four language skills because it can distinctly show the correctness and language errors that a language learner makes.  Since English speaking tests, in general, aim to evaluate how the learners express their improvement and success in pronunciation and communication, several aspects, especially speaking test formats and pronunciation need to be considered.  To enhance Thai learners’ English performance and the quality of the speaking tests, this paper has three principal objectives.  First, this paper presents English language teaching, as well as teaching English speaking in the Thai context.  Then, it highlights the significance of the test format as it is the main tool and indicator for scoring performance and analytic rating methods.  Lastly, the paper addresses major problems found in the speaking tests to elucidate certain facts about learners’ speaking ability and English instruction in the Thai context.  Some pedagogical implications of the study are discussed for learning and teaching speaking to second or foreign language learners.

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