Skip to main content

Rethinking Assessment of Thai EFL Learners' Speaking Skills


This paper reassesses the mainstream tasks used for evaluating Thai ELF learners' speaking skills: face-to-face interview and role-play. Based on final and preliminary findings from small-scale classroom research, it examines the capacity of these two tasks to assess the learners' conversation skills in particular and recommends a task that is more oriented towards features of natural conversation; i.e., non-scripted role-play. It is argued that if implemented with an appropriate rubric, this task should enable us to better assess the students' ability to converse in naturally-occurring communicative situations and with practice make it possible to develop students with better proficiency in English conversation. Some implications are also noted for English conversation teaching stemming from the proposed application of the assessment task in Thai EFL classroom contexts.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kemtong Sinwongsuwat.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sinwongsuwat, K. Rethinking Assessment of Thai EFL Learners' Speaking Skills. Language Testing in Asia 2, 75 (2012).

Download citation


  • Speaking-skill assessment
  • face-to-face interview
  • scripted and non-scripted role-plays
  • Conversation Analysis (CA)
  • Thai EFL learners
  • English conversation abilities