Lompat ke konten Lompat ke sidebar Lompat ke footer

Considering the characteristics of Listening skill, how should you construct a Listening test ?

Diskusi 3 Assesment in Language Teaching

Considering the characteristics of Listening skill,  how should you construct a Listening test ?

Rost (2011) mentions that there are three main reasons for making assessment an important component of language teaching: First, the assessment provides an appropriate starting and ending point for teachers to organize teaching. 

Second, evaluation helps students create goals by giving them a clear way to receive feedback on their performance. Third, program evaluation includes assessment, which keeps instructors and curriculum development on track. 

In the field of listening, judgment is crucial since getting enough feedback is necessary to boost learner confidence and create lessons that address the student's or the curriculum's obvious areas of weakness. Listening is not just a linear process of registering language strings as they are sent to our brains (Brown, 2004). And Brown (2004) also describes several items that must be considered in constructing listening tests as follows:

  • Clustering: Listening is difficult when the listener listens to individual words separately. It is found in the appropriate 'chunks' of language – phrases, clauses, constituents
  • Redundancy: In this case include recognizing the kinds of repetitions, rephrasing, elaborations, and insertions that unrehearsed spoken language often contains, and benefiting from that recognition.
  • Reduced forms. EFL Students may know some common forms of subtraction such as I’ll, I’m, etc.
  • Performance variables: being able to ‘weed out’ hesitations, false starts, pauses, and corrections in natural speech.
  • Colloquial language: comprehending idioms, slang, reduced forms, and shared cultural knowledge.
  • Discourse markers: Such as firstly, secondly, next, however, in conclusion, etc.
  • Rate of delivery: keeping up with the speed of delivery, processing automatically as the speaker continues.
  • Stress, rhythm, and intonation: understanding the prosodic elements of spoken language.
  • Interaction: managing the interactive flow of language.

According to Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, Sintha (2019), a listening test should be constructed in accordance with the following characteristics of the listening skill:
  • Listening is a top-down process. This means that listeners use their prior knowledge and expectations to understand what they hear. Therefore, listening tests should include tasks that require listeners to use their background knowledge and make predictions.
  • Listening is an active process. Listeners are not simply passive receivers of information; they are constantly constructing meaning from the sounds they hear. Therefore, listening tests should include tasks that require listeners to do more than just remember what they hear. They should be asked to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the information they hear.
  • Listening is a strategic process. Listeners use a variety of strategies to help them understand what they hear, such as predicting, guessing, and inferring. Therefore, listening tests should give listeners the opportunity to use these strategies.
Based on these characteristics, Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, Sintha (2019) provide the following guidelines for constructing a listening test:
  • Choose authentic materials. The listening materials should be typical of what learners would encounter in real life. This could include excerpts from movies, TV shows, news broadcasts, lectures, or everyday conversations.
  • Use a variety of task types. Listening tests should include a variety of task types to assess different aspects of listening comprehension, such as identifying main ideas, supporting details, and inferences.
  • Make the test challenging but achievable. The test should be challenging enough to assess learners' abilities, but it should also be achievable so that learners do not become discouraged.
Here are some examples of listening test tasks that are consistent with these guidelines:
  • Fill in the blanks: Listen to a recording and fill in the blanks in a transcript. This task assesses learners' ability to identify key information in a listening passage.
  • Multiple choice: Listen to a recording and select the best answer to a question. This task assesses learners' ability to understand the main ideas and supporting details of a listening passage.
  • True/false: Listen to a recording and decide whether statements about the passage are true or false. This task assesses learners' ability to understand the overall meaning of a listening passage.
  • Matching: Listen to a recording and match the information you hear with pictures, words, or sentences. This task assesses learners' ability to identify specific details in a listening passage.
  • Short answer: Listen to a recording and answer questions about the passage in your own words. This task assesses learners' ability to understand and synthesize the information they hear.
When constructing a listening test, it is important to keep the characteristics of the listening skill in mind. By following Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, Sintha's (2019) guidelines, teachers can create listening tests that are authentic, challenging, and effective in assessing learners' listening comprehension skills.


Brown, H.D. 2004. Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.

Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, Sintha. 2019. Buku Materi Pokok MPBI 5201/ 3SKS/ Modul 1-9: Assessment in Language Teaching. Tangerang Selatan, Banten: Universitas Terbuka.

Rost, M. 2011. Teaching and Researching Listening. London. Pearson Education