The Impact of Raters’ and Test Takers’ Gender on Oral Proficiency Assessment: A Case of Multifaceted Rasch Analysis

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch

2 Assistant Professor Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch

Abstract

The application of Multifaceted Rasch Measurement (MFRM) in rating test takers’ oral language proficiency has been investigated in some previous studies (e.g., Winke, Gass, & Myford, 2012). However, little research so far has ever documented the effect of test takers’ genders on their oral performances and few studies have investigated the relationship between the impact of raters’ gender on the awarded scores to male and female test takers. Thus, this study aimed to address the above-mentioned issue. Twenty English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers rated the oral performances of 300 test takers. The outcomes demonstrated that test takers’ gender differences did not have any significant role in their performance differences when they were rated by the raters of the same or opposite gender. The findings also reiterated that raters of different genders did not demonstrate bias in rating test takers of the opposite or same gender. Moreover, no significant difference was observed regarding male and female raters’ biases towards the rating scale categories. The outcomes of the study showed that both male and female raters assign fairly similar scores to test takers. This suggests no evidence based on which either male or female raters must be excluded from the rating process. The findings imply that there is no need to worry about the impact of gender for a more valid and reliable assessment.

Keywords


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