2 The effects of dynamic assessment on L2 listening comprehension
Rumia Ableeva [+]
The Pennsylvania State University
Ableeva’s chapter ‘The Effects of Dynamic Assessment on L2 Listening Comprehension’ also reports on the use of DA in the context of an L2 French classroom, but unlike Poehner’s study, hers compares the insights into learners’ abilities gained through dynamic and nondynamic procedures. Pointing to the current interest in listening comprehension assessment in the language testing literature, Ableeva carried out a small-scale pilot study in which she offered learners mediation as they listened to authentic French radio texts in order to ascertain whether a dynamic procedure uncovered features of their abilities not apparent from their solo performance. Her findings confirm Vygotsky’s prediction that individuals whose independent performances are quite similar may have very different ZPDs. In fact, for some learners, comprehension of the aural text hinged on a single lexical item or on relevant cultural details. The non-dynamic procedure failed to detect these differences and indicated only whether learners could or could not answer comprehension questions correctly. This finding leads Ableeva to argue in favor of the use of DA as both a diagnostic tool to uncover the causes of poor comprehension as well as an approach to supporting learners’ development of their listening abilities.