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Language Assessment


... measures, and because of their authenticity, usually carry greater face validity. ... A portfolio attains maximum authenticity and washback when it is an integral ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Language Assessment

Language Assessment
  • Chap. 10 Beyond Tests

Alternatives in Assessment
  • Tests are formal procedures, usually administered
    within strict time limitations. Assessments have
    a much broader concept in that most of time when
    teachers are teaching, they are also assessing.
  • Additional measures of students include
    portfolios, journals, observations,
    self-assessments, peer-assessments, and the
    like.--- alternative assessment

Practicality and Washback
  • Tests tend to be one-shot performances that are
    timed, multiple-choice, decontextualized,
    norm-referenced, and that foster extrinsic
    motivation. Tasks like portfolios, journals, and
    self-assessment are
  • Open-ended/contextualized/referenced/
  • intrinsic

  • Formal standardized tests are highly practical
    and reliable while alternatives such as
    portfolios require considerable time and effort.
    Alternative techniques also offer greater
    washback, are superior formative measures, and
    because of their authenticity, usually carry
    greater face validity.

Performance-Based Assessment
  • P-B A implies productive, observable skills, such
    as speaking and writing.
  • Reading, listening, and thinking have many
    authentic manifestations, but since they are not
    directly observable in and of themselves, they
    are not performance-based.
  • Performance assessment is one of the primary
    traits of the alternatives to assessment.

  • A portfolio is a purposeful collection of
    students work that demonstrates their efforts,
    progress, and achievements in given areas. It
    includes materials such as
  • essays and compositions/reports, project
    outlines/poetry/newspaper clippings/presentations/
    journals/tests/ notes on lectures/comments/evaluat

  • Six possible attributes of a portfolio
  • Collecting, Reflecting, Assessing, Documenting,
    Linking, and Evaluating.
  • Portfolios can fail if objectives are not clear,
    if guidelines are not given to students, if
    systematic periodic review and feedback are not

Steps and Guidelines of Portfolio Development
  • 1. State objectives clearly. A portfolio attains
    maximum authenticity and washback when it is an
    integral part of a curriculum.
  • 2. Give guidelines on what materials to include.
    Teacher guidance will keep students on target
    with curricular objectives. A sample portfolio
    from a previous student can help to stimulate
    thoughts on what to include.

  • 3. Communicate assessment criteria to students.
    Both self-assessment and teacher assessment must
    be incorporated in order to receive the maximum
  • Self-evaluation questions Portfolio project
    self-assessment (p. 258)
  • 4. Designate time within the curriculum for
    portfolio development

  • 5. Establish periodic schedules for
  • review and conferencing.
  • 6. Designate an accessible place to
  • keep portfolios.
  • 7. Provide positive washbackgiving final
    assessments. Teachers final evaluations should
    emphasize strengths and point the way toward
    future learning challenges.

  • Journals stresses the importance of
    self-reflection in the process of students taking
    control of their own destiny. A journal is an
    account of ones thoughts, feelings, reactions,
    assessments, ideas, or progress toward goals,
    usually written with little attention to
    structure, form, or correctness.

  • Categories in journal writing
  • Language-learning logs
  • Grammar journals
  • Responses to readings
  • Strategies-based learning logs
  • Self-assessment reflections
  • Diaries of attitudes, feelings, others
  • Acculturation logs

  • Dialogue journals imply an interaction between a
    reader and the student through dialogues or
    responses. The responses had better take place at
    regular intervals, perhaps weekly or biweekly.
    Teachers can become better acquainted with their
    students in terms of their learning progress and
    their affective states, and thus better meet
    students individual needs.

Conferences and Interviews
  • In conferences, the teacher plays the role of a
    facilitator and guide. The teacher offers
    positive washback and encourage students
    self-reflection and improvement. Questions useful
    in a conference
  • What did you like about this work?
  • What do you think you did well?
  • How does it show improvement from previous work?
  • What strategies did you use to figure out . .

  • Possible goals
  • 1. Assessing the students oral production 2.
    ascertaining a students needs 3. discovering a
    students learning styles and preferences 4.
    asking a student to assess performance and 5.
    requesting an evaluation of a course

Guidelines for Interviews
  • 1. offer atmosphere of warmth and
    anxiety-lowering. 2. begin with simple questions.
    3. continue with level-check and probe questions.
    4. frame questions simply and directly. 5. focus
    on one factor for each question. 6. repeat or
    reframe questions that are not understood. 7.
    wind down with friendly and reassuring closing

  • Sentence-level oral production skills
  • Discourse-level skills
  • Interaction with classmates
  • Reactions to students, pairs, and groups
  • Evidence of listening comprehension
  • Length of utterances