Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Languages and Cultures

First Advisor

Atsushi Fukada

Committee Member 1

April Ginther

Committee Member 2

Mariko Moroishi, Wei


Communicative language teaching in the early 1980s led to greater emphasis on the development of communicative ability and also increased interactive practice in classroom learning. However, in many communicative language programs today, large portions of periodic assessment do not necessarily reflect this pedagogical focus; instead, the traditional pencil-and-paper format is still in common use. Traditional written tests typically emphasize grammar and written language, and multiple-choice and cloze test items are often employed. In such formats, students are not required to demonstrate the oral skills they have acquired in the classroom; therefore, traditional written tests are not appropriate indicators of the students’ ability to use the language in real-life situations. There may be one or two oral tests in a semester, but that would not be enough to outweigh the grammar/written language emphasis. Furthermore, oral assessments are not typically given with sufficient frequency to track the development of students’ oral skills because they generally require significant amount of time for administration.