ABSTRACT

It is often remarked that language testing is one of the youngest fields of research and practice in Applied Linguistics (Alderson, 1991a). And the theory and practice of testing second language speaking is the youngest subfield of language testing. During the heyday of modern language testing research through the First World War and into the 1920s, little if any attention was paid to testing speaking. Despite some notable exceptions, it was not until the Second World War that the testing of second language speaking became a focus of interest (Fulcher, 1997).