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Written Report

As a part of the tasks for Language Assessment subject, I have observed a Year 4
English Language class on 18th July 2014. In this observation, I focused on the assessment
methods used by the teacher during her lesson. The topic of the lesson is Unit 14: Harmony
in the Jungle and the skill emphasized is writing skill. However, there is integration of other
skill which is reading skill. The lesson started with the teacher prompting questions to
students on what they have learned in the previous lesson. After that, students were shown
an interactive story projected on the whiteboard. The students read the story as it is being
played, and they received worksheet from the teacher related to the story. The worksheet
consists of four different parts. First, the students have to look at pictures and name them.
Secondly, they have to match the animals with the correct musical instruments. Thirdly, they
have to read the sentences and fill the answer by referring to the story that they have read.
Lastly, they have write a diary on how they spend their day if they were to be shipwrecked in
a deserted island.
In this lesson, I found out few type of assessment used by the teacher; matching
task, scanning and short-answer task. Matching task is related to the reading skill while
scanning and short- answer task are related with both reading and writing skills but in this
lesson the short answer- task is not related with reading skill. For the matching task, it is to
assess students comprehension in terms of the characters in the story, which the students
have to recognize the animal characters in the story with the musical instruments that they
have. However, this tasks does not truly cover the students comprehension of the story as a
whole. This is where scanning can be used to assess more of the students comprehension
of the story, as they have to read the story thoroughly to find answers for the exercise given
to them. A sentence example from the worksheet is We went swimming and fishing, and
here they have to fill in the answer with the day this event happened by referring to the story.
Writing skill is not really prominent here or have less importance as students only have to
copy the answer the get from scanning. Basically, the writing skill here is just about copying

words or sentences from the text and fill it in the blanks given. Next, they are required to
write a diary for five days by using their own sentences. However, parallel writing and
guided writing will be better in assessing the students writing skill instead of using the using
the assessment method used by the teacher.
If a test actually samples to the subject matter about which conclusions are to be
drawn, and if it requires the test taker to perform the behavior that is being measured, it can
claim content-related evidence of validity (Brown & Abeywickrama, 2010) Based on this
statement, it shows that the test must be made to achieve the objective of the test, and
going back to the lesson, the task given must be related to the objective of the lesson. In the
lesson that I have observed, the objective of the lesson is to read and transfer the
information with correct spelling and at least 8 out of 10 answers correctly. The learning
standard is Able to transfer information with guidance to complete: a) linear text. The
exercise given to the students require them to answer by transferring information from the
story that they have read. From this, it shows that the objective of the lesson does relate to
the objective but it was vague as the worksheet consists of few parts and there are several
blanks which is more than what was stated in the objective that need to be answered which
make me questioning which parts are the objective referring to.
In order for any writing to be effective, it must be practical. Practicality refers to
pragmatic issues such as time, money and ease. (Crusan, 2010) In regards to the lesson
that I have observed, the task given is practical as the pragmatic issues mentioned in the
quoted statement does not imply anything in conducting the test. The time needed for the
students to complete the writing task is within the time limit of the lesson and the cost in
making the task sheet does not affect the teachers financial negatively. Furthermore, the
reading text can be obtained from the internet which is open to everyone so in this case, it
can be said that the task made is practical for the teacher and students.
Authentic assessments involve students in tasks that require the application of
knowledge and skills in real life situations. Authentic assessment, rooted in the classroom

instruction, address educational goals and groups of learning objective. These practices
emphasis more on problem solving, critical thinking, comprehension, reasoning and
metacognition, or self-reflection. (Luongo-Orlando, 2003) From this statement, authenticity
of a test can be seen through the nature of the test itself. It can be said that the task given is
authentic as it address the objective of the lesson. However, it can be improved by adding
reasoning skill into it in the last part of the exercise which they have to write a diary if they
were shipwrecked in the lesson. It can be improvised by asking them to reason on why they
do so in that particular day.
In language testing terms, washback is the effect of an assessment on teaching and
learning. Messick(1996) defines washback as the extent to which introduction and use of a
test influences language teachers and learners to do things they would not have otherwise
do that promote or inhibit language learning. (Crusan, 2010) Based on the lesson I
observed, washback did occur in after the task but in a positive ways. The task given enrich
the students knowledge on what they have learned before the task itself which is
comprehension of the story shown to them. The task ensure them to refer to the text again
for answers and comprehend it carefully to answer correctly.
As a conclusion, the assessment that was conducted in the lesson that I observed, it
can be said that it is practical and authentic. However, there are something vague about its
validity as even though it does the assessment does relate to the objective but it was not
specific enough. In this case, when creating an assessment it must be checked carefully
based on the principles of language assessment.

REFERENCES

Brown, H. D., & Abeywickrama, P. (2010). Language Assesment: Principles and Classroom
Practices. New York: Pearson Education, Inc.
Crusan, D. (2010). Assessment in the Second Language Writing Classroom. Michigan: The
University of Michigan Press.
Luongo-Orlando, K. (2003). Authentic Assessments: Designing Performance-Based Tasks.
Ontario: Pembroke Publishers.