Does Gender Play a Role in the Assessment of Oral Proficiency?

  •  Khalil Motallebzadeh    
  •  Shaahin Nematizadeh    


Gender has been a controversial issue which affects the language learning process. McNamara (1996) has proposed that there are some variables affecting second language performance one of which is sex. In much the same way, it has been reported that gender plays a role in the area of language testing (Brown, 2003; Lumley & O’Sullivan, 2005; Motallebzadeh, 1993; O’Sullivan, 2002).The present study is, thus, an attempt to explore the possible relationship between gender and oral performance of Iranian intermediate and upper intermediate EFL language learners. For this purpose, 429 adult students in six different institutions in Mashhad and Kerman participated in the study. After the Oxford placement test and an IELTS-format oral placement test, 160 of them were selected for a final oral interview. Finally, through a T-test, it was found out that females did better in oral performance than males, however, the difference was not that significant.

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