Updated Grading FAQS

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Elicited Imitation Grading Rules and Regulations v0.1

Check out the new holistic scoring rubric for grading EI PSST - this is not an official scoring method yet, so don't use this unless you are told to do so!

Golden Rule

Always grade by syllable! Always, always, always!


Basic rule: Never grade pronunciation. Give full credit for understandable mispronunciations. No credit for insertions/deletions (dids, didn’t, or di for “did”).


        1. Don’t grade on pronuciation
        2. If it is intelligible (even with a bit of inference) then count it as correct
        3. Even if different phonemes are inserted count it as correct, as long as you understand the meaning. 
        4. If the end of the word is not pronounced do not give full credit. That is a deletion, not a mispronunciation.

Example: If the sentence is: “I can speak Spanish.” Then the learner says: “I can speak Spaneesh.” You would count this as correct.


Definition: A transposition is when a student “mixes up” the order of two words. Saying “gone has” instead of “has gone.”

Basic Rule: If a student transposes words (switches word order) give credit only for the first word.

Example: The sentence is: “I like long walks on the beach.” The students says, “I like walks long on the beach.” You would count “walks” but not “long” as correct.


        1. If a transposition occurs, mark only the first word of the series correct.
        2. If multiple words are transposed, still mark only the first word of the series as correct 

Example: “She has many sheep.” The student says, “She many sheep has.” Only give credit for the word many in the underlined section.

Contractions and Clitics

Basic Rule: Give full credit for contractions and clitics.

Definition: Clitics and contractions refer to the merging of two (or more) words.

Examples: should have = shoulda, it is = it's

Correcting Mistakes and Restarts

Basic Rule: Give full credit for mistake corrections and restarts.

Example: The sentence says, “I went to the store and then off to grandma’s house.” The student says, “I went to the store …I went to the store and then off to grandma’s house.” Or: “I went to the sheet—er, store—and then off to grandma’s house.” Both should receive full credit.

Incorrect Repeats and Mis-corrections

If they repeat a sentence or correct themselves in an ungrammatical manner, mark it wrong (if they are obviously correcting themselves).

Note: some students just repeat the sentence over, and over, and over again in these cases grade the last full (non-clipped) sentence.

Files with no Sound at all

What to do:

If you hear a file that contains only background noise: Check the background noise box and mark all as 0s.

If you hear a file that seems to contain no noise at all: Mark all as incorrect and please write "WHITE SILENCE" in the comments box.

If the file has a buzzing or crackling noise that makes the speech difficult or impossible to hear: Mark the background noise box and write BUZZ in the comments box.

Extremely Soft Recordings

What to do:

Even if you can decipher what is being said, if you have to strain to hear the words at max volume on your computer then write "SOFT" in the comments box.

If you can tell something is being said (by the speaker, don't confuse with background noise) but can't tell what it is write "UNINTELLIGIBLE."

Background Noise

What to do: This box is up to your judgment. Basically, if it interferes with the sound file or is annoying you probably should click the "background noise" box.

The only set rule is if someone does not respond and you hear people in the background. Then click the background noise box and write "No response" in the comments box.