BEST Test (B-Speak English Skills Test) #5


Student’s name:
Teacher’s name:
Course Hours: 10
MBA School / Status (i.e., applying, on wait list, conditional admit, 1st year, etc.) William and Mary
Student’s goals for the course: [Student] indicated three main goals for this course: 1. to become more comfortable with public speaking, 2. to familiarize himself with greater vocabulary, and 3. to write successful American business letters, particularly on making them concise.
Date of Pre-Assessment Monday, November 7, 2016
Question #1 – Personal/Warmup: Talk about the reasons you decided to go to business school.
OR alternate question:
Question #1 score: 3
Question #2 – Define: Define what the word “success” means to you.
OR alternate question:
Question #2 score: 2
Question #3 – Describe/Explain: What do you think are the qualities that make a good manager? Can you give an example of a manager you’ve worked with who exemplifies these qualities?
OR alternate question:
Question #3 score: 3
Question #4 – Compare-Contrast: Given what you already know about American business customs, how would you compare X and Y (e.g., describe the typical business dinner in your country. How does it differ from the typical American business dinner? )
OR alternate question:
Question #4 score: 3
Question #5 – Challenge/Defend: I’m going to make a statement. I’d like you to challenge what I say and defend your arguments: “LinkedIn is a waste of time. It’s just people putting their resumes on the web and bragging about their accomplishments. You really don’t make any useful professional connections through LinkedIn.”
OR alternate question:
Question #5 score: 4
Comment specifically on student’s vocabulary –both strengths (use of business terms, idioms, phrasal verbs) and weaknesses (imprecise word choice, incorrect word forms) Overall, [student’s] use of English vocabulary was quite strong. He clearly has no trouble coming up with the right words or translating something into English. His choice of words and phrases were basically the same as a native speaker’s from the US.
Comment on student’s grammatical usage (verb tense, passive voice, modals, conditional, make vs. do; prepositions, etc.) Again, this was quite strong–basically the same as a native-born American’s. His problems with language are much more particular to his accent than to his choice of words.
Pace, volume, pitch: [Student’s] volume was quite good, but he spoke too fast, particularly when it came to multi-syllabic words. He tended to gloss over one or more syllables in a large word, though he was too fast overall as well. Also, his pitch variations made it difficult to understand him. Unlike an American English speaker, [student] tended to switch his pitches frequently, giving his speech a “sing-song” quality. This made it difficult to follow his stress patterns.
Fillers (“um,” “like,” “how to say,” etc.) This was pretty good–he still had a few fillers, but their number was in line with an American English speaker’s. This could still be improved, but it was not bad.
Eye contact, body language [Student’s] eye contact was pretty good, and his body language was okay, though it felt a bit lethargic and unenergized. Part of this was exacerbated by his lack of smiling. He seemed very serious, and he should work on cultivating a more friendly and approachable persona.
Rhythm, stress, intonation His pitch variations and intonation made it difficult to understand him. Unlike an American English speaker, Arun tended to switch his pitches and intonation frequently–generally multiple times within a sentence– giving his speech a “sing-song” quality. Like many speakers from India, he appeared to give equal stress to all syllables, unlike Americans’ accented English. This made it difficult to follow his stress patterns, which made his overall speech difficult to follow.
Word endings (e.g., final “s” and “ed” sounds) Ending fricative sounds (f, s, z, th, sh, v, for example) were difficult to hear, as were ending “r” sounds. Words like “numbers” or “letters” were particularly hard to understand.
Consonant & Vowel Sounds (include examples of problem words) Most of [student’s] vowels were pretty good, though consonants could be quite difficult to understand. I’ve mentioned some of the ending consonants above, but I also noticed that p, b, s, and r, among others, represented problems no matter where they were in the word. Words that were difficult to understand include concise, success, consultant, entire. etc.
How intelligible would the student’s speech be to a native English speaker (who is NOT an ESL teacher)? ·         Requires interpretation: Accent & pronunciation sometimes cause misunderstanding; the listener has to make an effort to overcome distraction.