Farnsworth
(2013) conducted this study to examine whether coaching would lead to increased
scores on oral language tests. The participants for this study were taken from
students in community college English as a Second Language programs. Pretests
were administered twice on two types of tests, the BEST Plus test and the VET.
For the VET, 64 pretest scores were used and for the BEST Plus only 44
participants were tested twice. After pretests were administered, participants
were split into two groups. One group was coached on the BEST Plus type test
and the other was coached on the VET type. Each coaching session ran for 6
weeks for a total of 12 hours. Each student was also taking an ESL class at the
same time as coaching was happening. At the end of the coaching sessions, both
groups took both types of test for a second time. However, less than half of
the original groups took the posttests. The final results showed significantly
increased scores on the both tests for participants from both coaching sessions.
The groups that received specific coaching on the BEST Plus test showed a
larger increase in score on the BEST Plus posttest than those from the VET coaching
session and vice versa.  Overall, scores
increased significantly between pretest and posttest scores regardless of which
coaching session the participant was in.

            In my own opinion, the results of
this study were not of much importance. Participants from both coaching
sessions showed significantly increased scores on both tests. Also, the number
of participants who took the posttest was significantly less than the number of
students who took the pretests. Because of this, I don’t believe that the final
results really hold much value. Had this study been more widespread and had
more participants taken both the pretests and the posttests, I think it would
have held a lot more importance to teachers of ESL everywhere. 

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