skip to main content skip to footer

The Revised Test of Spoken English (TSE): Discourse Analysis of Native Speaker and Nonnative Speaker Data TSE

Lazaraton, Anne; Wagner, Stacie
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Content Analysis, English (Second Language), Native Speakers, Test of Spoken English (TSE)


This report describes a qualitative discourse analysis of native speaker and nonnative speaker responses to the revised Test of Spoken English (TSE). Using audiotape transcripts from six native speaker and 12 nonnative speaker respondents, the study identified the speech functions that the 15 TSE tasks elicited. The results indicated that the native speakers were generally consistent in their responses to the various tasks. Additionally, the match between the intended task functions (as per the content specifications) and the actual functions employed by the native speakers was quite close, although some nonnative speakers at the five band levels also produced the same speech functions that the content specifications predicted. In fact the performance of the most proficient nonnative speakers at Band 60 was almost indistinguishable from that of the native speakers. Recommendations based on this study include a refinement of several of the tasks and a reconsideration of the "interactive function" and the content specifications describe.

Read More