Home » ASL Class 9 » CBSE Assessment of Speaking and Listening (ASL) Speaking Class 9 SA2, ASL Examiner Handbook for Class 9 ASL.

CBSE Assessment of Speaking and Listening (ASL) Speaking Class 9 SA2, ASL Examiner Handbook for Class 9 ASL.

Assessment of Speaking and Listening
Class IX
ASL Examiner Handbook


Conduct of examinations 
Recording of examinations 
Examination integrity 
What if? 

Guidelines for Examining


These guidelines are for the teachers who will act as Examiners for the ASL in their own schools. As the assessment of speaking and listening skills has to be done for Summative I and Summative II in class IX and in the final term‐end examination in class XI, the guidelines contained in this Handbook may be adhered to. Since you will be acting as an examiner in your own school, it is suggested that you conduct the assessment of students of the class that you are not teaching and instead be the examiner for the other section. This will ensure objectivity of the assessment. You may draw a timetable for examination 10 days prior to the commencement of SA‐I and for SA‐II a window period of one month w.e.f. 15 November 2013 has already been given in various circulars uploaded by CBSE on its Academic Website.

This window is also applicable for assessment in class XI.

Please note that for class X the assessment guidelines are contained in the circular no 27/ 2013 dated 29 April 2013 and the same should be followed for 2014 class X examination only.

Please also note that the assessment should be done for two students at a time. The students should be randomly paired just before the exam.

For conducting the examination, kindly read the guidelines given below very carefully well before you conduct the examination.

In the exam room

Strictly no other person other than the examiner, students or a known ASL monitor can be allowed into the exam room.

School intercoms, public address systems and CCTV cameras must be turned off in the exam room.

No other recording devices other than the examiner’s MP3 player are allowed.

No posters, pictures or similar containing written English language should be on the walls of the exam

If schools wish to take photographs in the exam room (or anywhere else andonly ever at your discretion) they should do so after the exam session has finished.


Schools should have the provision of the marksheets with the first two columns completed with: 

serial number with class & section 

first name &surname/ family name of each student

Please note the marksheets are also used as a timetable to indicate the running order of the MP3 recordings. Therefore, please indicate any changes in the order on the marksheet. 


DO NOT show the marksheets or discuss the marks with other school staff.
It’s best to refrain even from making comments to other teachers like ‘They were good’.
If asked, just say ‘I’m really sorry but it’s against the rules for me to say anything’.

You will have to submit the marksheets of speaking assessment of classes IX & XI to the CBSE Regional office;  the name and address of the official concerned will be communicated to you later.

Conduct of examinations

The ASL exam comes in two formats:

Standard IX exam at B1 level of the CEFR (8–10 minutes long)
Standard XI exam at B2 level of the CEFR (10–12 minutes long)

Both formats have three phases:
1. Introductory phase
2. Topic (T) phase
3. Problem solving (PS) phase

Introductory phase

Up to 1 minute for both exams

Begin by greeting the students and seat them in the correct chairs. For audio‐recording purposes, introduce the students using their full names and exam serial numbers. Try to set them at ease using the prompts on the procedure sheet. This section should be brief (max. two turns per student), friendly and encouraging. 

Please note that this phase is not assessed.

Topic phase
4–5 minutes for Standard IX
5–6 minutes for Standard XI

Using the procedural prompts word for word, invite Student A to present his/her topic.

Be ready to interrupt recitation with a semi‐scripted prompt from the list of Topic Follow‐Up Questions (see separate sheet).
After a minute, end the presentation and ask Student B to ask Student A a question. 

The examiner should guide the questioning by specifying which general aspect of the topic should be
asked about.

The examiner then asks Student A one or two semi‐scripted questions from the list of Topic Follow‐Up Questions.

The time taken to question each student should be around1 minute for Standard IX or 2 minutes for Standard XI.

Repeat the process for Student B

This phase can continue for an extra minute if necessary.

Problem Solving phase
3‐4 minutes for Standard IX
4‐5 minutes for Standard XI

You will have two set of problem solving cards one set containing only the problem ‐ one problem on one card only in 22‐24 font size printed in bold. The other set should contain problem with prompts for the use of examiner within your examiner pack. Using the procedural prompts, introduce the problem solving task. Select a task card and give it to the students to read in silence for 30 seconds. 

TIP Use the same task for two exams in a row so that students do not have time to discuss the problem with the next pair.

Using the procedural prompts, introduce the problem solving task.

Select a task card and give it to the students to read for up to 30 seconds.

Using the procedural prompts, have the students discuss the problem.

Two minutes into the phase, stop the discussion and ask students if they have found a solution.

If they have not found a solution, ask them to quickly arrive at an agreement.

If/when they have found a solution, ask semi‐scripted prompts from the list of Problem solving Follow Up Questions listed on the examiner’s card.

The questioning of both students should take around 1 minute for Standard IX or 2 minutes for Standard XI.

This phase can continue for an extra minute if necessary.

Draw the exam to a close, bid the students a friendly farewell and stop the MP3 player.


Once the students have left the room, complete the Speaking Marksheet whilst referring to the
Performance Descriptors (see separate sheets).

2 minutes can be allocated for marking before the next pair of students enter the room and the
procedure is repeated from the beginning.

Up to 5 marks can be awarded for each of the four speaking criteria, giving a total of 20 marks.

Timing Time to enter and leave the room should be included in the 2 minute marking time between exams.

Here are some tips to help make sure you don’t exceed the time limit:

Start timing and recording as soon as the students are seated in the correct place.

Having A and B written on place cards will also reduce seating confusions for all concerned.

A small bell can be used to call students into the room.

You may use a mobile phone as a timer if you take the SIM card out.

Recording of examinations

Please note that for class IX all the assessments have to be recorded for summative II. For class XI all the assessments have to be recorded for the term end examination. Exams are recorded for the following purposes:

to ensure standardisation

to provide data for adjudicating appeals
to select examiners for the future
to check the students levels
to inform future training
as a step towards international benchmarking

Please pay special attention to the following procedures as mistakes are easily made and this can make it difficult to access the data. While examining:

At the beginning of each day’s recording, please state your name, location and date.

State the students’ serial numbers at the beginning of each exam (see procedure sheet).

Record each exam individually.

Keep the recordings from each examining day in a separate folder on the MP3 recorder.

Regularly download the folders onto a computer to create space on your recorder. Please note the
recorder’s memory can become full before all five folders are used.

Label each folder with the session date and school’s name (this is most easily done on the computer).

Please note, you don’t have to rename individual files as they should correspond numerically to the

order shown on the marksheet.

By all means listen to the recordings yourself so that you can reflect on your examining.

Make sure you bring spare batteries!

After examining:

When you have finished all of your examining, download all the recordings from the computer onto a CD or pen drive.

Online links or email attachments cannot be accepted.

Clearly label the CD or pen drive with your name and examining number.

Do not share recording space on CDs with other examiners.

Securely post the pen drive along with your feedback form and final marksheets to the concerned

officer whose name will be intimated later.
Examination integrity Examiners are reminded that all exam materials (question lists, problem solving tasks and procedures) are

strictly confidential and should not be seen by anyone else. Please keep these with you at all times, or place them under lock and key and keep the key in your possession.


Please complete the provided feedback form as soon as you have finished examining and send it securely to the official whose name will be intimated later. We also welcome your suggestions for new prompts and assessment of the problem solving tasks. When commenting, please bear in mind however that with a brand new exam such as ASL there will inevitably be a few teething problems. Your constructive comments will be instrumental in developing the exam for the future.

Thank you in advance for all your hard work and we hope you enjoy your examining!

What if?

What if a student has not prepared a topic?
Whatever the reason, they still have to present a topic in order to pass the exam. If it is apparent that studentshave not prepared a topic, you should talk to the teacher about this and explain they need to quickly think of one before entering the exam room. Please make a note of any reason for non preparation in your feedback. If they don’t have a prepared topic and have to invent something just before they go in, they will probably lose marks for Interactive Competence, especially Task Management.

What if students are reciting from memory?
You should interrupt the recitation fairly quickly by asking topic follow‐up questions. Similarly, students may collude by rehearsing the questions they are going to ask each other about their topics beforehand. Therefore it’s important the examiner guides the questioning by having the questioner ask about a general aspect of the topic rather than letting them decide. For example, if a B1 topic is on Travel, you could say ‘Student B, ask Student A about one of his travel experiences’. Or for B2, on relationships, the examiner could say, ‘Student B, ask Student A about one of his relationships’. The trick is not to tell them what the exact question should be but to guide the questioning in a general direction away from anything that might have been pre‐prepared. Harvesting general questions on the same topic from other exams might help this. Indicators of recitation may include flat intonation, lack of stress or inappropriate stress, overly fast delivery, lack of eye contact as they attempt recall and forgetting what is to be said!

What if I can think of better prompts than those in the semi‐scripted lists?
Make a note of them for feedback, but please don’t use them in the exam. It is very important for the reliability of the exam that all examiners are standardised and doing the same thing so please don’t deviate from the semi‐scripted stems provided. Additional feedback from the audio monitors suggests that some examiners should also avoid contributing to or even taking over the discussion with their own opinions. In addition to the semi‐scripted follow‐up prompts, please follow the procedural prompts word for word. This will become second nature once all the prompts have been practised a few times. Although they may then seem to become repetitive, they can actually free the mind to focus on other aspects of the exam, such as how to complete the next stem(s) and what marks to give the student.

What if the students can’t solve the problem?
This is not an issue as solving the problem is not part of task fulfillment. It is the language used to discuss the problem that is being assessed. Consequently the examiner should not participate in trying to solve the problem if the students are struggling. However, some students don’t know that they should solve the problem together, rather than with the examiner. Use of gesture when saying ‘together’ in the procedural prompt ‘I’d like you to read the information and then discuss together how you are going to solve the problem’, might alleviate this, as would angling the students chairs slightly inwards.

What if students finish their topics or problems really quickly?
The examiner should ask follow‐up questions from the lists provided until the allotted time has been used up. However, please remember that students should ‘expand’ on topics or problems as part of the task and will be marked down if they don’t. You cannot shorten the time but must fill it with the follow‐up questions. You can use gesture to encourage expansion and the use of pregnant pauses to emphasize they should say something. Sometimes a lack of expansion may at times be the fault of particular problem solving task. Please make keep notes of which PS tasks consistently don’t work well, and those which do, and include this information in your feedback.

What if a student’s contributions go on for too long?
If a student’s contribution goes on for too long or they do not give up a turn, simply hold your hand up to stop them and say ‘Sorry, I have to stop you there’ and proceed with the next prompt. If a student’s question continues for an overly long time you could again use gesture to indicate making something shorter, or if necessary even say ‘Ask a short question please’. Students who do not take turns reasonably or who take up too much of the other student’s time would be marked down under Interactive Competence.

What if a student has special needs?
If a student has speech or hearing difficulties, they should be given as much extra time as is necessary for them to understand what is being said and/or express themselves. Please refer to the guidelines in the circular no. 61/2013 dated 22 August, 2013 on the CBSE Academic Website under ASL Corner. Please inform the student and teachers that this is happening in order to avoid accusations of being unfair. Likewise, give students with dyslexia extra time to read the problem solving card. If they are really struggling you can read it to them, however don’t assume a student is dyslexic unless it is clearly apparent. If a student is blind or has a visual impairment, there are special CBSE arrangements for this like provision of a Scribe Also, please


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