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LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT

Course Outline

1. Intro: Role of assessment in language 7. Grading feedback and reporting


classroom
 Alternatives to letter grading
 Assessing young learners for: - Self assessment
- Learning - Narrative evaluation
- Teaching - Checklist evaluation
- Research - Conferences

2. Alternative language assessment 8. Documents and procedures in school based


assessment
 Performance based assessment
- Projects  Standard Document Curriculum and
- Exhibitions Assessment
- Role plays - Performance standard
- Experiments - Performance levels
- Self and peer assessment
9. Issues and concerns related to Assessment in
 Authentic assessment Malaysian ESL Primary Schools
- Oral interviews
- exam oriented system
- Project /exhibitions
- Experiments/ demonstrations - cognitive levels of assessment
- Observations
- Portfolios - school based assessment
- Online assessment
- cultural and ethical issue of assessment, rubrics
3. Approaches to language testing and content

- integrative approach

-communicative approach

4. Assessing receptive skills

 Listening and reading


- Designing assessment task
- Scoring method

5. Assessing productive skills

 Speaking and writing


- Designing assessment tasks
- Scoring method

6. Assessing grammar and vocabulary

- designing assessment tasks

- scoring method
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TOPIC 1 Intro: Role of assessment in language classroom

1.1 Assessing young learners for – learning, teaching and research

Assessment is a process that includes four basic components:

1) Measuring improvement over time.

2) Motivating students to study.

3) Evaluating the teaching methods.

4) Ranking the students' capabilities in relation to the whole group evaluation.

The purpose of classroom assessment and evaluation is to give students the opportunity to show
what they have learned rather than catching them out or to show what they have not learned.

A) Assessing young learners for learning

 Also called as formative assessment - assessment


intended to promote further improvement of student learning during the
learning process.
 decrease the level of anxiety generated by concentration on linguistic accuracy
 increase students' comfort zone and feeling of success by stressing communicative fluency.

B) Assessing young learners for teaching

 Suitability of general instructional goals and objectives associated with an individual lesson or unit
plans;

 Effectiveness of instructional methods, materials and activities used to attain instructional


objectives;

 Adequacy of professional resources required to deliver instruction.

C) Assessing young learners for research

We can assess learners at the start of the year to identify our students’ strengths and weaknesses.

• During the year we can use the results of tests to help us make decisions about what to teach next
and what we need to revise.
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• As teachers of young learners we collect information about children to share with parents and, of
course, with the children themselves.

Teachers use assessments to provide evidence of student progress.

• These assessments can be required by local authorities and teachers must base their assessments
on a local or national curriculum.

• Classroom assessment can also be summative. Children can be given a mark or a grade at the end
of the school year.

TOPIC 2 Alternative language assessment

2.1 Introduction to Alternative in assessment

Alternative assessment = a type of assessment that covers any number of alternatives to


standardized tests.

Rationale for Alternative Assessments

o To capture complex outcomes. Alternative assessment goes beyond the assessment of knowledge
and facts to the more complex goals of assessing and developing life-long skills of creative thinking,
problem solving, summarizing, synthesizing, and reflecting. With authentic assessment, products and
processes are equally valued.

o To address realistic tasks. With authentic and performance-based assessments, students are
involved in tasks, performances, demonstrations, and interviews reflecting everyday situations
within realistic and meaningful contexts.

o To include good instructional tools. Assessment and instruction interact on a continuous basis.
Assessment can be used to adapt instruction and to provide feedback for monitoring students’
learning. Alternative assessment focuses on the students’ strengths, therefore enabling the teacher
to get a more accurate view of students’ achievement, of what they can do, and of what they are
trying to do.

o To communicate what we value. Assessment and instruction need to be aligned. If we value oral
proficiency but only assess through written tests, students infer that only the written language
matters.

o To meet the students’ different learning styles. Alternative assessment offers a broad spectrum of
assessment possibilities to address the different learning styles. Some students might choose to
demonstrate understanding by writing about something while others might prefer to perform, to
display visually, or to create a timeline.
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o To collaborate and interact with students. Even though schools usually focus on students working
alone, the real world allows and encourages people to talk, ask questions, get help and receive
feedback. Denying students the right to cooperate and collaborate diminishes the authenticity of the
achievement. How to Assess Authentic Learning, p. xvi.

Alternatives in assessments

 require students to perform, create, produce, or do something


 use real-world contexts or simulations
 are nonintrusive in that they extend the day-to-day classroom activities
 allow students to be assessed on what they normally do in class every day
 use tasks that represent meaningful instructional activities
 focus on processes as well as products
 tap into higher level thinking and problem solving skills
 provide information about both the strengths and weaknesses of students
 are multiculturally sensitive when properly administered
 ensure that people, not machines, do the scoring, using human judgement
 encourage open disclosure of standards and rating criteria
 call upon teachers to perform new instructional and assessment roles

Kinds of Alternative Assessments

Following is a list of possible alternative assessments.

o Performance-based assessments (projects, exhibitions, role playing, experiments and


demonstrations)

o Open-ended questions

o Writing samples

o Interviews

o Journals and learning logs

o Story of text retelling

o Cloze tests

o Portfolios

o Self and peer assessments

o Teacher observations

o Checklists
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2.2 Performance Based Assessment

It is a set of strategies for the acquisition and application of knowledge, skills and work habits through the
performance of tasks that are meaningful and engaging to students.

This type of assessment provides teacher the information about how students understand and applies
knowledge.

Measures students’ ability to apply the skills and knowledge learned from a unit of units of study.
Performance-based assessment is an alternative assessment, it ‘‘requires students to construct a
response, create a product, or demonstrate application of knowledge’’ in authentic context
(Authentic Assessment for English Language Learners, p. 239).

Performance-based assessment requires the development of new assessment tools and scoring
rubrics.

Performance- based assessment implies productive, observable skills (speaking & writing) of
content-valid tasks. It often implies an integration of language skills (four skills).

Characteristics of performance- based assessment:

- students make a constructed response


- they engage in higher-order thinking, with open-ended tasks
- tasks are meaningful, engaging, and authentic
- Tasks call for the integration of language skills
- Both process and product are assessed
- Depth of a student’s mastery is emphasized over breadth

Teacher should make sure to..

- State the overall goal of the performance


- Specify the objectives (criteria) of the performance in detail
- Prepare students for performance in stepwise progressions
- Use a reliable evaluation form, checklist, or rating sheet
- Treat performances as opportunities for giving feedback and provide final feedback
systematically
- Utilize self- and peer- assessments judiciously

2.2.1 Projects

Can be individual or in group.

To assess a student’s understanding of a subject or a particular topic.

Projects typically require students to apply their knowledge and skills while completing the prescribed tasks,
which often call for creativity, critical thinking, analysis and synthesis.

2.2.2 Exhibition
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Teachers can expand the idea of performance-based activities by creating exhibits or fairs for
students to display their work. Examples include things like history fairs to art exhibitions. Students
work on a product or item that will be publicly exhibited.

Exhibitions show in-depth learning and may include feedback from viewers.

In some cases, students might be required to explain or defend their work to those attending the
exhibition.

Some fairs like science fairs could include the possibility of prizes and awards.

2.2.3 Role plays

Role Playing is the learning activity that involves the participants acting in some common character
types in daily life or simulation of real life situations.

Teachers can use role play to assess students’ understanding or perspectives on the role of the
characters, or their engagement and involvement during the role play.

It has been suggested that role playing is particularly effective when applied to second language
learning, which provides valuable opportunities for students to practice and develop the new
language.

Learners acquire new languages efficiently when they receive comprehensible input, engage in
genuine communication, have active involvement, and have positive affect, during the role playing.

(Live, Videotaped, Written)

Scenarios developed by the teacher to assess some components of PE or PA.

Valuable for evaluating the affective domain (being sensitive to diverse learners, teamwork and
cooperation, creating a safe and nurturing environ.

Problem-solving and decision-making

Might be difficult for teacher to assess pupils’ language proficiency.

Why?

Teacher need to develop own rubric.

Example of rubric.
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2.2.4 Experimemts

Experiments testing how well students understand scientific concepts and can carry out scientific
processes.

2.2.5 Self and peer assessment

Self-assessment is a process of formative assessment during which students reflect on and evaluate
the quality of their work and their learning, judge the degree to which they reflect explicitly stated
goals or criteria, identify strengths and weaknesses in their work, and revise accordingly.

Why self-assessment?

Making judgments about the progress of one‟s own learning is integral to the learning process.

 Self-evaluation builds on a natural tendency to check out the progress of one‟s own learning.

 Further learning is only possible after the recognition of what needs to be learned.

 If a student can identify his/her learning progress, this may motivate further learning.
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 Self-evaluation encourages reflection on one‟s own learning.

 Self-assessment can promote learner responsibility and independence.

 Self-assessment tasks encourage student ownership of the learning.

 Self-assessment tasks shift the focus from something imposed by someone else to a potential
partnership.

 Self-assessment emphasizes the formative aspects of assessment.

 Self-assessment encourages a focus on process.

 Self-assessment can accommodate diversity of learners‟ readiness, experience and backgrounds.

 Self-assessment practices align well with the shift in the higher education literature from a focus
on teacher performance to an emphasis on student learning.

SELF ASSESSMENT- implementation process needs to include:

 A clear rationale: what are the purposes of this particular activity?

 Explicit procedures—students need to know what is expected of them.

 Reassurance of a safe environment in which they can be honest about their own performance
without the fear that they will expose information which can be used against them.

 Confidence that other students will do likewise, and that cheating or collusion will be detected
and discouraged

Examples:

 Structured formative learning – Using online quizzes that give students immediate feedback on their
performance.
 Summative assessment – Providing a portion of the overall mark to the student grading their own
performance.

Peer assessment

“Peer assessment requires students to provide either feedback or grades (or both) to their peers on
a product or a performance, based on the criteria of excellence for that product or event which
students may have been involved in determining”

Why use peer assessment?

 Falchikov (2007) reminds us that peer learning builds on a process that is part of our development
from the earliest years of life (it is the practice of formal education and the centrality of the teacher
that makes us lose sight of this).
LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT

 Peer feedback can encourage collaborative learning through interchange about what constitutes
good work.

 If the course wants to promote peer learning and collaboration in other ways, then the
assessment tasks need to align with this. It is also important to recognize the extra work that peer
learning activities may require from students through the assessment. Boud, Cohen & Sampson
(1999) observe that “if students are expected to put more effort into a course through their
engagement in peer learning activities, then it may be necessary to have this effort recognized
through a commensurate shift in assessment focus” (p.416).

 Peer learning draws on the “cognitive apprenticeship model” (Kvale, 2006).  Students can help
each other to make sense of the gaps in their learning and understanding and to get a more
sophisticated grasp of the learning process.

 The conversation around the assessment process is enhanced. Research evidence indicates that
peer feedback can be used very effectively in the development of students‟ writing skills.  Students
engaged in commentary on the work of others can heighten their own capacity for judgment and
making intellectual choices.

 Students receiving feedback from their peers can get a wider range of ideas about their work to
promote development and improvement.

 Peer evaluation helps to lessen the power imbalance between teachers and students and can
enhance the students‟ status in the learning process.

 The focus of peer feedback can be on process, encouraging students to clarify, review and edit
their ideas.

 It is possible to give immediate feedback, so formative learning can be enhanced. Peer assessment
processes can help students learn how to receive and give feedback which is an important part of
most work contexts.

 Peer assessment aligns with the notion that an important part of the learning process is gradually
understanding and articulating the values and standards of a “community of practice” (Wenger,
1999, cited in Falchikov, 2007, p.129). Drawing on Wenger‟s ideas, Falchikov suggests that “learning
involves active participation in a „community of practice‟ in which members of the community
determine and structure their own practices, and construct identities in relation to these
communities” (2007, p.129). Peer commentary in the assessment process initiates into the
community to hear, experiment with and gradually internalize the norms of the community.

How to implement?

 Make sure the criteria for any piece of peer assessment are clear and fully discussed with students
(negotiated with them if circumstances are appropriate).

 Spend time establishing an environment of trust in the classroom.


LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT

 Try to ensure that your learning environment incorporates peer learning and collaboration in a
range of ways.

 Be aware that introducing marks creates a further set of complex issues, but if you do decide to
get peers to award marks these marks should be only one of a number of different marks awarded
to a specific product or process. Generally, as the most valuable aspect of peer assessment is its
potential to enhance learning, marks can cloud matters as they tend to preoccupy people at the
expense of everything else.

Examples:

 De-identified formative feedback – Ask students to give formative feedback on a number of other
pieces of student work. The work should be de-identified so that neither the student submitting the
work or the peer marking the work is identifiable.
 Rate or review student presentations – Use the audience to rate and review student presentations
on a topic, either in a classroom setting or a presentation delivered on-line.

Advantage & Limitations of Performance-based assessment

Advantages:

- Assess complex learning outcomes


- Assess process and product
- Communicates instructional goals related to real world context
- Assess progress as well as performance
- Involve students in the assessment process
- Recognizes that student can express
- Specific, direct and understandable information are available to the parent of the students
- Evaluates the ‘whole’ student

Limitations:

- Constructing (time consuming)


- Scoring (questionable)
- Measurement (limited scope)

Steps in developing PBA

1. Define the purpose of the assessment

2. Determine the skills. Learning outcomes, taxonomy level.

3. Design and develop activity for performance task

4. Define the performance criteria

5. Create the scoring rubric (holistic or analytical rubric)


LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT

2.3 Authentic assessment

- Oral interviews
- Project /exhibitions
- Experiments/ demonstrations
- Observations
- Portfolios
- Online assessment

Definition of authentic assessment

A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate
meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon Mueller

"...Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use
knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or
analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the
field." -- Grant Wiggins -- (Wiggins, 1993, p. 229).

"Performance assessments call upon the examinee to demonstrate specific skills and competencies,
that is, to apply the skills and knowledge they have mastered." -- Richard J. Stiggins -- (Stiggins,
1987, p. 34).

Characteristics

an assignment is authentic if it

 is realistic.
 requires judgment and innovation.
 asks the student to “do” the subject.
 replicates or simulates the contexts in which adults are “tested” in the workplace or in civic
or personal life.
 assesses the student’s ability to efficiently and effectively use a repertoire of knowledge and
skills to negotiate a complex task.
 allows appropriate opportunities to rehearse, practice, consult resources, and get feedback
on and refine performances and products.

Traditional vs Authentic

Traditional --------------------------------------------- Authentic

Selecting a Response ------------------------------------ Performing a Task

Contrived --------------------------------------------------------------- Real-life

Recall/Recognition ------------------------------- Construction/Application


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Teacher-structured ------------------------------------- Student-structured

Indirect Evidence -------------------------------------------- Direct Evidence

Selecting a Response to Performing a Task: On traditional assessments, students are typically given
several choices (e.g., a,b,c or d; true or false; which of these match with those) and asked to select
the right answer. In contrast, authentic assessments ask students to demonstrate understanding by
performing a more complex task usually representative of more meaningful application.

Contrived to Real-life: It is not very often in life outside of school that we are asked to select from
four alternatives to indicate our proficiency at something. Tests offer these contrived means of
assessment to increase the number of times you can be asked to demonstrate proficiency in a short
period of time. More commonly in life, as in authentic assessments, we are asked to demonstrate
proficiency by doing something.

Recall/Recognition of Knowledge to Construction/Application of Knowledge:Well-designed


traditional assessments (i.e., tests and quizzes) can effectively determine whether or not students
have acquired a body of knowledge. Thus, as mentioned above, tests can serve as a nice
complement to authentic assessments in a teacher's assessment portfolio. Furthermore,
we are often asked to recall or recognize facts and ideas and propositions in life, so tests are
somewhat authentic in that sense. However, the demonstration of recall and recognition on tests is
typically much less revealing about what we really know and can do than when we are asked to
construct a product or performance out of facts, ideas and propositions. Authentic assessments
often ask students to analyze, synthesize and apply what they have learned in a substantial manner,
and students create new meaning in the process as well.

Teacher-structured to Student-structured: When completing a traditional assessment, what a


student can and will demonstrate has been carefully structured by the person(s) who developed the
test. A student's attention will understandably be focused on and limited to what is on the test. In
contrast, authentic assessments allow more student choice and construction in determining what is
presented as evidence of proficiency. Even when students cannot choose their own topics or
formats, there are usually multiple acceptable routes towards constructing a product or
performance. Obviously, assessments more carefully controlled by the teachers offer advantages
and disadvantages. Similarly, more student-structured tasks have strengths and weaknesses that
must be considered when choosing and designing an assessment.

Indirect Evidence to Direct Evidence: Even if a multiple-choice question asks a student to analyze or
apply facts to a new situation rather than just recall the facts, and the student selects the correct
answer, what do you now know about that student? Did that student get lucky and pick the right
answer? What thinking led the student to pick that answer? We really do not know. At best, we can
make some inferences about what that student might know and might be able to do with that
knowledge. The evidence is very indirect, particularly for claims of meaningful application in
complex, real-world situations. Authentic assessments, on the other hand, offer more direct
evidence of application and construction of knowledge. As in the golf example above, putting a golf
student on the golf course to play provides much more direct evidence of proficiency than giving the
student a written test. Can a student effectively critique the arguments someone else has presented
(an important skill often required in the real world)? Asking a student to write a critique should
provide more direct evidence of that skill than asking the student a series of multiple-choice,
analytical questions about a passage, although both assessments may be useful.

Teaching to the Test


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These two different approaches to assessment also offer different advice about teaching to the test.
Under the TA model, teachers have been discouraged from teaching to the test. That is because a
test usually assesses a sample of students' knowledge and understanding and assumes that
students' performance on the sample is representative of their knowledge of all the relevant
material. If teachers focus primarily on the sample to be tested during instruction, then good
performance on that sample does not necessarily reflect knowledge of all the material. So, teachers
hide the test so that the sample is not known beforehand, and teachers are admonished not to
teach to the test.

With AA, teachers are encouraged to teach to the test. Students need to learn how to perform well
on meaningful tasks. To aid students in that process, it is helpful to show them models of good (and
not so good) performance. Furthermore, the student benefits from seeing the task rubric ahead of
time as well. Is this "cheating"? Will students then just be able to mimic the work of others without
truly understanding what they are doing? Authentic assessments typically do not lend themselves to
mimicry. There is not one correct answer to copy. So, by knowing what good performance looks
like, and by knowing what specific characteristics make up good performance, students can better
develop the skills and understanding necessary to perform well on these tasks. (For further
discussion of teaching to the test, see Bushweller.)

Kinds of authentic assessment

- Oral interviews

Teacher asks students questions about personal background, activities, readings, and
interests.

Advantages:
# Informal and relaxed context
# Conducted over successive days with each student
# Record observations on an interview guide

- Project /exhibitions

Students complete project in content area, working individually or in pairs.

Advantages:
# Students make formal presentation, written report, or both
# Can observe oral and written products and thinking skills
# Scored with rubric or rating scale

- Experiments/ demonstrations

Students complete experiment or demonstrate use of materials

Advantages:
# Students make oral presentation, written report, or both
# Can observe oral and written products and thinking skills
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# Scored with rubric or rating scale

- Observations

Teacher observes student attention, response to instructional materials, or interactions


with other students

Advantages:
# Setting is classroom environment
# Takes little time
# Record observations with anecdotal notes or rating scales

- Portfolios

Focused collection of student work to show progress over time

Advantages:
# Integrates information from a number of sources
# Gives overall picture of student performance and learning
# Strong student involvement and commitment
# Calls for student self-assessment

- Online assessment

An online assessment or e-assessment is sometimes used to take (parts of) an


assessment. Questionnaires and online ability tests can be completed at home or in a
controlled environment.

Advantages:

The use of online assessments saves companies a lot of time and money. Often the assessments can
be completed in less time, multiple candidates can complete the online assessment at the same
time and there is no need for specialised (and expensive) personnel. All required knowledge is
present in the e-assessment.

Pros of Authentic assessment

1. Connects students with real life skills

Life is not measured with multiple choice tests. It is more complex and often requires students to
demonstrate their knowledge.

Traditional test only encourage students to recall what was learned.

2. Combines teaching, learning and assessments to promote student learning and engagement

Students are proven to perform better when they know how they will be judged.

Students understand the criteria for performance


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Understanding learning objective fosters higher order learning skills.

3. Provide different ways of learning

Every student learns in his or her way

Caters to students who have different learning styles

4. Capture the nature of learning

Reciting and recalling facts is not the way human learns

Learning is best when we are actively engaged in the construction of meaning

5. It is a direct measure of knowledge

The ultimate goal is using the acquired knowledge and skills in real world

Promotes direct evidence of competence

Cons of Authentic assessment

1. Subjectivity in scoring

Difficult to assess what is relevant and important among different educators

2. Costliness

3. limit skills and knowledge that is assessed

4. Time constraints

Teacher has limited time with pupils

TOPIC 3 Approaches to language testing

- integrative approach

• This approach involves the testing of language in context and is thus concerned primarily with
meaning and the total communicative effect of discourse.

• Integrative tests are concerned with a global view of proficiency.

• Integrative testing involves functional language but not the use of functional language

• The use of cloze test, dictation, oral interview, translation and essay writing are included in many
integrative tests.
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• Involves the testing of language in context and is concerned primarily with meaning and the total
communicative effect of discourse

• Is often designed to assess the learner’s ability to use two or more skills together

• Does not separate language skills into neat divisions to improve test reliability

Strengths

 The approach to meaning and the total communicative effect of discourse will be very useful for
students in testing.

 This approach can view students’ proficiency with a global view.

 A model cloze test used in this approach measures the reader’s ability to decode ‘interrupted’ and
‘mutilated’ messages by making the most acceptable substitutions from all the contextual clues
available.

 Dictation, another type using this approach, was regarded solely as a means of measuring students’
skills of listening comprehension.

Weakness

 Even if many think that measuring integrated skills is better, sometimes there is a need to consider
the importance of measuring skills based on students’ need, such as writing only, speaking only, etc.

STRENGTH

• The approach to meaning and the total communicative effect of discourse will be very useful for
pupils in testing

• Can view pupils’ proficiency with a global view.

• Strength of the test; dictation ,writing and cloze test is that relatively cheap and easy to make

WEAKNESSES

• Sometimes teacher should consider the importance of measuring skills based on particular need, such
as writing only, speaking only

• Scoring is not efficient and not reliable.

-communicative approach

• Communicative tests are concerned primarily with how language is used in communication.

• Language use is often emphasized to the exclusion of language usage.

• The attempt to measure different language skills in communicative tests is based on a view
of language referred to as divisibility hypothesis.
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• The test content should totally be relevant for a particular group of examinees and the tasks
set should relate to real-life situation.

• Communicative testing introduces the concept of qualitative modes of assessment in


preference to quantitative modes of assessment.

• Lays more emphasis on the notion and function; agreeing, persuading, or inviting that
language means in communication.

• Used to measure language learners’ ability to use the target language in authentic situations.

• Considered successful in learning the target language if he/she can communicate or use the
knowledge and skills by way of authentic listening, speaking, reading and writing.

• Accurate reflection of situations as possible.

• Example ; role play.

• Tasks/Situations must resemble real life experiences (in terms of communication and use of
language)

• Test items need to address definite audience

• Test instruction & rubric/marking scheme focus more onto effective communication of
meaning rather than on grammatical accuracy

• Errors are tolerated & treated as a natural outcome of development of communication skills

Strength

 Communicative tests are able to measure all integrated skills of students.

 The tests using this approach face students in real life so it will be very useful for them.

 Because a communicative test can measure all language skills, it can help students in getting
the score. Consider students who have a poor ability in using spoken language but may score
quite highly on tests of reading.

 Detailed statements of each performance level serve to increase the reliability of the scoring
by enabling the examiner to make decisions according to carefully drawn-up and well-
established criteria.

Weakness

 Unlike the structuralist approach, this approach does not emphasize learning structural
grammar, yet it may be difficult to achieve communicative competence without a
considerable mastery of the grammar of a language.

 It is possible for cultural bias to affect the reliability of the tests being administered.
LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT

STRENGTH

• The tests are more realistic to evaluate the students’ language use, as the students in a role
as though they were to communicate in the real world / daily lives .

• Increases the students’ motivation since they can see the use of language they learnt in class
in the real world.

WEAKNESSES

• Not efficient (time and energy consuming)

• Problem of extrapolation (Weir,1990)(cant guarantee the successful students that


accomplished the task will also be successful in the communication in real life. )

TYPES OF RUBRIC

Holistic rubrics
 single criteria rubrics (one-dimensional) used to assess participants'
overall achievement on an activity or item based on predefined
achievement levels;
 performance descriptions are written in paragraphs and usually in full
sentences.

Holistic Rubrics

A holistic rubric consists of a single scale with all criteria to be included in the evaluation being
considered together (e.g., clarity, organization, and mechanics). With a holistic rubric the rater
assigns a single score (usually on a 1 to 4 or 1 to 6 point scale) based on an overall judgment of the
student work. The rater matches an entire piece of student work to a single description on the scale.

Example Holistic Rubric

Articulating thoughts through written communication— final paper/project.

4. Above Average: The audience is able to easily identify the focus of the work and is engaged by its
clear focus and relevant details. Information is presented logically and naturally. There are no more
than two mechanical errors or misspelled words to distract the reader.

3. Sufficient: The audience is easily able to identify the focus of the student work which is supported by
relevant ideas and supporting details. Information is presented in a logical manner that is easily
followed. There is minimal interruption to the work due to misspellings and/or mechanical errors.

2. Developing: The audience can identify the central purpose of the student work without little
difficulty and supporting ideas are present and clear. The information is presented in an orderly
fashion that can be followed with little difficulty. There are some misspellings and/or mechanical
errors, but they do not seriously distract from the work.
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1. Needs Improvement: The audience cannot clearly or easily identify the central ideas or purpose of
the student work. Information is presented in a disorganized fashion causing the audience to have
difficulty following the author's ideas. There are many misspellings and/or mechanical errors that
negatively affect the audience's ability to read the work.

Advantages of Holistic Rubrics

 Emphasis on what the learner is able to demonstrate, rather than what s/he cannot do.
 Saves time by minimizing the number of decisions raters make.
 Can be applied consistently by trained raters increasing reliability.

Disadvantages of Holistic Rubrics

 Does not provide specific feedback for improvement.


 When student work is at varying levels spanning the criteria points it can be difficult to select the
single best description.
 Criteria cannot be weighted.

Analytic rubrics
 two-dimensional rubrics with levels of achievement as columns and assessment criteria as
rows. Allows you to assess participants' achievements based on multiple criteria using a
single rubric. You can assign different weights (value) to different criteria and include an
overall achievement by totaling the criteria;
 written in a table form.
 An analytic rubric resembles a grid with the criteria for a student product listed in the
leftmost column and with levels of performance listed across the top row often using
numbers and/or descriptive tags. The cells within the center of the rubric may be left blank
or may contain descriptions of what the specified criteria look like for each level of
performance. When scoring with an analytic rubric each of the criteria is scored individually.

Needs Above
Developing (2) Sufficient (3)
Improvement (1) Average (4)

Clarity (Thesis The purpose of The central The central The central
supported by the student work purpose of the purpose of the purpose of the
relevant is not well- student work is student work is student work is
information and defined. Central identified. Ideas clear and ideas clear and
ideas.) ideas are not are generally are almost supporting
focused to focused in a always focused ideas always
support the way that in a way that are always
thesis. Thoughts supports the supports the well-focused.
appear thesis. thesis. Relevant Details are
disconnected. details illustrate relevant, enrich
the author’s the work.
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ideas.

Organization Information and Information and Information and Information


(Sequencing of ideas are poorly ideas are ideas are and ideas are
elements/ideas) sequenced (the presented in an presented in a presented in a
author jumps order that the logical logical
around). The audience can sequence which sequence
audience has follow with is followed by which flows
difficulty following minimum the reader with naturally and is
the thread of difficulty. little or no engaging to
thought. difficulty. the audience.

Mechanics There are five or There are no There are no There are no
(Correctness of more misspellings more than four more than three more than two
grammar and and/or systematic misspellings misspellings misspelled
spelling) grammatical and/or and/or words or
errors per page or systematic grammatical grammatical
8 or more in the grammatical errors per page errors in the
entire document. errors per page and no more document.
The readability of or six or more than five in the
the work is in the entire entire
seriously document. document. The
hampered by Errors distract readability of the
errors. from the work. work is
minimally
interrupted by
errors.

Advantages of Analytic Rubrics

 Provide useful feedback on areas of strength and weakness.


 Criterion can be weighted to reflect the relative importance of each dimension.

Disadvantages of Analytic Rubrics

 Takes more time to create and use than a holistic rubric.


 Unless each point for each criterion is well-defined raters may not arrive at the same score
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Presentation Rubric for Project


4 3 2 1
Uses support to Presents finding Presents findings Presentation is
presents findings, and and conclusions not organized
Organization conclusions, and recommendations with some
recommendations in an organized organization
convincingly manner

Makes a dramatic Argument shows Shows little Is not


Persuasive-
and compelling evidence of evidence of persuasive in
ness
argument persuasion persuasion presentation

Works as a Works as a group Works together to Does not work


cohesive unit to to make the make the together to
Teamwork
make the presentation presentation make
presentation presentation

Uses technology Technology Uses technology Does not use


Use of as a highly enhances the to some extent to technology in a
Technology effective tool. message demonstrate the persuasive
group’s position. manner

Category 18-20 16-17 14-15 0-13


Content In-depth coverage of Good coverage of Topic in Coverage of topic,
topic, topic is topic, topic is adequately topic is
appropriate to appropriate to covered, topic is inappropriate to
assignment, strong assignment, basis appropriate to assignment, not
basis in sound, in sound, research- assignment, not based on research-
research-based based information, based on research- based information,
information, clear and based information unclear and
outstanding clarity, understandable, clear and difficult to
hyperlinks to credible hyperlinks to understandable, understand, no
sites credible sites hyperlinks to non- hyperlinks
credible sites
Presentation Attractive, easy to Attractive, easy to Attractive, difficult Unattractive,
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interpret, pleasing interpret, pleasing to interpret, difficult to


colors with high colors with good pleasing colors interpret, poor
contrast, slide contrast, slide with high contrast, color choice and
presentation well- presentation slide presentation slide contrast, slide
organized, excellent organized, good disorganized, presentation
use of bullets, use of bullets, bullets, graphics, unorganized,
graphics, transitions, graphics, transitions, and bullets, graphics,
and slide effects transitions, and slide effects detract transitions, and
which enhance the slide effects which from the content slide effects detract
presentation of the enhance the from the content
content presentation of the
content
Mechanics No misspellings or Three or fewer Four misspellings More than four
grammatical errors misspellings and/or misspellings
and/or grammatical errors and/or
grammatical errors grammatical errors
Organization Presenter and oral Presenter and oral Presenter and oral Presenter and oral
(presenter and presentation are well- presentation are presentation are presentation are
oral organized, he/she organized, he/she poorly organized, well-organized,
presentation) discusses content discusses content he/she relies he/she reads slides
seldom referring to occasionally frequently relies on and or notes to
notes to conduct referring to notes notes to conduct conduct
presentation to conduct presentation presentation
presentation
Appearance Engages the audience Engages the Engages the Presenter does not
(presenter) well, displays audience, displays audience poorly, engage the
professional professional displays a poor audience, displays
appearance, uses appearance, uses professional unprofessional
volume and elocution volume and appearance, uses appearance, is
appropriate to setting, elocution volume and inaudible, does not
maintains excellent appropriate to elocution maintains eye
eye contact, posture setting, maintains inappropriate to contact, displays
and composure good eye contact, setting, maintains poor posture and
posture and minimal eye lack of composure
composure contact, posture
and composure
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Holistic rubric
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TOPIC 4-7 refer to printed notes

4. Assessing receptive skills

 Listening and reading


- Designing assessment task
- Scoring method

5. Assessing productive skills

 Speaking and writing


- Designing assessment tasks
- Scoring method

6. Assessing grammar and vocabulary

- designing assessment tasks

- scoring method

7. Grading feedback and reporting

 Alternatives to letter grading


- Self assessment
- Narrative evaluation
- Checklist evaluation
- Conferences

TOPIC 8 Documents and procedures in school based


assessment
8. Documents and procedures in school based assessment

 Standard Document Curriculum and Assessment


- Performance standard
- Performance levels

Expectations for instruction, assessment, and student work are called Performance Standards. These
incorporate Content Standards and define the level of work that demonstrates achievement of the
standards.
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Performance standards isolate and identify skills needed for problem-solving, reasoning,
communicating, and making connections with other information. They provide all constituents with
the evidences that students have met the content standards, helping teachers define what level of
work is satisfactory.

Performance Standard
The Performance Standard details six levels of performance with descriptors for each level based on
clusters of learning standards.
These levels serve as a guide to teachers in assessing their pupils’ mastery of the intended learning
standards. The Performance Levels
are arranged in an ascending hierarchical manner to differentiate the levels of pupils’ achievement,
as shown below:

Performance levels describe students’ performance when instructed on grade-level skills and
concepts. Combined with the Quantile Measure, the performance levels can be used to group
students and to determine appropriate instruction. Following the adaptive benchmark tests,
students are classified into one of (5) performance levels.

• Advanced: These students exhibit advanced performance when tested on grade-level skills and
concepts. Teachers should consider adjusting the pathways of these students to a higher grade level.

• Proficient: These students exhibit appropriate performance when tested on grade-level skills and
concepts. These students should experience success on a grade-level pathway with few remediation
lessons included.

• Basic: These students exhibit some appropriate performance when tested on grade-level skills and
concepts. These students should experience success on a grade-level pathway with some
remediation lessons included.

• Below Basic: These students generally do not exhibit minimally appropriate performance when
tested on grade-level skills and concepts. These students should be able to work back up to grade-
level material with precursor and/or remediation lessons included.

• Far Below Basic: These students generally do not exhibit any appropriate performance when
tested on grade-level skills and concepts. These students may not be able to work back up to grade-
level material with the included precursor and remediation lessons. Teachers should monitor
students’ progress to determine if an alternative pathway is necessary.
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Performance Level data can be found on the Overview Report, Benchmark Growth Report, Student
Progress Report and Weekly Summary Reports.

9. Issues and concerns related to Assessment in Malaysian ESL Primary Schools

- exam oriented system

- cognitive levels of assessment

- school based assessment

- cultural and ethical issue of assessment, rubrics and content

A) Exam oriented system

- a process assigned for test qualification: the examination of student, for admission to higher level of
education, e.g. university

The exam-oriented education mode does provide a fair environment and equal opportunityfor
students from different families with distinct backgrounds, and it is feasible in evaluating the
education results among various areas (e.g. rural and urban areas). Personally, I benefit from this
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education system in terms of advanced problem solving skills (since our math class is very
difficult), perseverance, hardiness, resilience, self-control and ambition.

However, this system has its flaws apparently. The most obvious one is that exam-oriented
education lacks critical-thinking training, because there is always a “correct” answer to an exam
question. And the mindset of looking for the right answer is ingrained into students’ mind. As a
result, students are not comfortable and are less likely to propose innovative solutions and challenge
textbooks or their teachers.

I think that any education system has its two sides. The same is true for the competence-oriented
education. If it is so difficult to challenge the education system, as an educator, I will try my best to
focus on students’ need and stimulate them to learn with passion and grit.

Is the exam oriented system in education reliable?

Definition of examination: Examination is a test of capacity and knowledge to determine a learner’s


strength and weakness necessary for academic adjustment and work life.

Pros:encourage competition, avoid favouritism

Cons: poor development of soft skills, stress and high risk

- Encourage competition
Student may learn to assess and regulate their own performance, have responsibilities
and motivation to improve. They progress and succeed in the classroom.
Examinations is the most practical way of assessment in education and students treat
every exam seriously.

- Avoid favouritism
Create environment where only a privileged few can reap the benefits of the class.
Teachers need to create community feel and treat equally.

- Poor development of soft skills


Distorts motivation and learning because overemphasize the importance of scores as
outcomes and measures of student abilities.

- Stress and high risk


Student worry about low performance, pressure from teachers and parents, attempt to
mitigate the risk of failed testing by cheating on examinations. The pressure makes
them study without thinking.

- cognitive levels of assessment

- school based assessment

- cultural and ethical issue of assessment, rubrics and content

(refer to notes printed and in phone)


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