The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has implemented its decision to assess students of Std IX & XI in listening and speaking skills in English from this academic session.
To be formally known as Assessment of Speaking and Listening Skills (ASL), the board has provisioned 10% in the total weightage of SA1 and SA2. The ASL for SA1 is to be conducted in the month of September itself.
The speaking test will last for a maximum duration of 12 minutes and will be conducted for two students at a time. A single teacher will function as the interlocutor and assessor for both students, and s/he must be an expert in the English subject. The test has been divided into three sections with the first being general introduction.
Here, the interlocutor converses with the two candidates with simple questions based on the students' names, place of residence, leisure preferences etc.
The second part will be called 'mini presentation' in which students have the choice to pick up a 'role card' or a 'cue card'. Both cards will have a topic written on it and students will be given a minute to prepare and organize their thoughts on paper (to be provided by the school only). After this, students will be given two minutes each to present their ideas.
The third part of the test will be pair interaction. Both students are given a verbal or visual stimulus and asked to respond to it with each other for three minutes.
In case a student has not been able to speak or has been unable to speak owing to nervousness, the dominance of the second candidate or any other factor, then, the interlocutor may use a minute to give a fresh opportunity to that student.
The listening comprehension section tests the candidate's ability to listen for basic interpersonal, instructional and academic purposes. Students will hear a set of recordings of the listening input or listen to a reading of the listening input. Each recording will be played twice and students are not allowed to ask questions or interrupt the teacher at any point. CBSE says this is crucial since students "are being tested for listening skills".
After listening to the recording or oral reading, students will be required to answer a set of questions. The test will have four sections and all will be compulsory. A worksheet will be provided to students on which they can write their answers.