ClearSpeak Adult Pronunciation Test


For speech-language trainers, the CAP Test allows you to identify systematically all non-standard English sound pronunciations in a student. Simple to use and no specialist expertise is needed. The test comes complete with 25 sets of forms for testing 25 subjects.


What is it?

A user-friendly test to identify ‘error’ or non-standard English sounds in a speaker. It guides you to create a summary analysis and a training plan. The test is designed for use with adults and teenagers but can be used informally with younger children.

Who should use it?

Speech trainers, English language teachers and speech pathologists who wish to evaluate English sounds in their students.  It can also be used by self-help students seeking to improve their own pronunciation but these students will find it perfectly adequate (and more cost-effective) to assess their speech using the screening test provided in the book Perfect Pronunciation.

What is it for?

The CAP test has been developed for the primary purpose of assessing English pronunciation and phonological errors.  It was designed by Alison Kimble, a speech pathologist specialising in pronunciation improvement.  The primary target group is non-native English speakers.  However, as the test materials include coverage of all English phonemes, including complex clusters, the test materials are a useful supplement in the assessment of many speech disorders.  These include voice disorder, dysarthria, phonological and articulatory errors and lack of sound clarity due to hearing impairment.

Are there limitations?

The test is designed specifically for adults and teenagers who can read basic English.  This means the test cannot be administered formally to absolute beginners in English or younger children.  But if the tester assists the subject by eliciting test responses through imitation, valuable information can still be obtained.

Which varieties or regional English accents can it test?

The latest edition of the CAP Test uses a generic set of phonetic symbols that makes it suitable for use with any variety of English. Trainers can readily adjust the Test Results sheet to reflect features of their local English accent.

The Test Manual incorporates phonetic information on Australian and New Zealand English previously found in the ZN.0 version of the test.

What does the test cover?

The CAP Test consists of five subtests that assess vowels, consonants, prosodic features (speech melody) and general fluency.  The subtest on consonants contrasts typical sound confusions such as /w/, /f/ and /v/ as well as /l/, /n/ and /r/.  The Test Manual is more than a simple description of how to conduct the test and analyse results.  It provides a set of guidelines on the common inter-language sound errors that occur in ESL speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds.  It also includes discussion on a number of issues that will be helpful for anyone who does not have in-depth knowledge of the pronunciation training field.

In addition to a Test Results sheet, the kit contains a Summary Analysis sheet that provides the first step in creating a training plan for a student.  There is also guidance on how to go about drawing up a set of training objectives and information on developing a training program.   The test is supplied with 25 copies of both sheets but more of these may be ordered as required.

The tester does not require extensive knowledge of phonetics in order to use the test.  On the contrary, a positive feature of the test is that it is simple to use and does not get bogged down in technical detail.  The CAP Test is very ‘user friendly’ and, if administered in full, takes around 30 minutes to complete.


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