New Perspectives on IELTS Authenticity: An Evaluation of the Speaking Module

Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of Translation Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Jahrom University, Jahrom, Fars, Iran


This study represents the inaugural attempt at assessing the authenticity of the tasks encompassed in the IELTS Speaking Module. The evaluation is conducted from the vantage points of applied linguistics and general education, and serves to enhance comprehension of authenticity and authentic assessment. In order to achieve this objective, an analysis was conducted on the Speaking Module tasks using Bachman and Palmer's (1996; 2010) model of test usefulness from the discipline of applied linguistics, as well as Herrington and Herrington's (1998; 2006) inventory of the fundamental attributes of genuine assessment from the realm of general education. The results of both task analyses revealed low indices of authenticity of the tasks. The high degree of the convergence of the results from the analyses could open new horizons to experts in applied linguistics to exchange ideas about authentic language assessment with those in general education. Furthermore, such characteristics as problem-solving skills, higher-order thinking skills, integrated assessment, and multiple indicators of learning, are not included in Bachman and Palmer’s framework.