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Book: Comprehensibility in Language Assessment

Chapter: Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.41097


This chapter provides an overview of the scope and aims of the book and presents a summary of current approaches to the construct of comprehensibility and the related concepts of intelligibility and accentedness (Levis, 2005; Munro & Derwing, 2011; Isaacs, 2014). A brief synopsis of previous research articles is followed by consideration of the difficulties inherent in defining, teaching and measuring a concept that is characterised by complexity and further confounded by broader socio-linguistic factors such as the role of the listener and the existence of multiple variations of languages (Kachru, 1985; Lindemann, 2017; Harding & Mcnamara, 2017) . The outline of a framework for analysing comprehensibility from a micro- to macro-level is presented. Following chapters focus on describing and providing a rationale for this new approach.

Chapter Contributors

  • Parvaneh Tavakoli ( - parvaneh) 'University of Reading'
  • Sheryl Cooke ( - scooke) 'British Council'