An Analysis of Reheared Speech Characteristics on the Oral Proficiency Interview-Computer (OPIc)

The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines identify memorized words and phrases as a hallmark of novice-level speech. For this reason, research by Cox (2017) found rehearsed content to be a major hindrance to interviewees being rated at higher sublevels on the Oral Proficiency Interview-computer (OPIc). To further investigate, an analysis of these memorized segments to determine patterns of lexicogrammatical and discursive features was conducted. In this study, researchers utilized a Praat analysis to compare prosodic features (specifically, mean length of utterance, number of silent pauses, and articulation rate) of speech segments marked as memorized and those which were not. A qualitative analysis was also conducted by identifying via a grounded theory approach any notable patterns both within single interviews as well as between speakers. Articulation rates differed significantly between the spontaneous and rehearsed segments; however, the strongest evidence of memorization lay in the transcriptions and the patterns that emerged within and across interviews.

Thesis Author: Gwyneth Elaine Gates

Year Completed: 2018

Thesis Chair: Troy L. Cox


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