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ASSESSING YOUNG LEARNERS
Transcript of ASSESSING YOUNG LEARNERS
Recommended techniques:Testing Writing
Controlled writing activities
Recommended techniques:Testing Oral Ability
Questions about him and family.
Pointing on and describing images on a card.
Placing small cards on bigger ones.
Differences between two pictures.
Completing the story.
Identifying the odd picture.
Cameron Lynne: "Teaching Languages to young Learners" , Cambridge University Press (2001)
Wortham, S.C. (2000). Assessment in early childhood education. 3d ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Tsagari, D. (2004). Life beyond language testing: An Introduction to Alternative language assessment. Centre for research in language education. CRILE Working Paper, No 58. Available at: http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/groups/crile/docs/crile58tsagari.pdf.
Wortham, S.C. (2005) Assessment in Early Childhood Education. Prentice Hall
Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. London: Longman
Group UK, 2005.
McKay, Penny. Assessing Young Language Learners. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2006
Rixon, Simon. Young Learners of English: Some Research Perspectives. London:
Smith. “Young Learners.” British Council. 30 January 2008
Ionnaou-Georgiou., and S.Pavlou.2003.Assessing Young Learners.Oxford:Oxford University Press
Shabaan,Kasim(2001). Assessment of Young Learners.Vol 39 No 4, October - December 2001
Hughes,Arthur(2003).Testing for Language Teachers.Cambridge Language TEaching Library
WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO YOU?
WHO ARE YOUNG LEARNERS?
covers primary and secondary schools in many context
WHY TO ASSESS YOUNG LEARNERS?
To gather information
To monitor and aid progress
To encourage and support growth of learning
To evaluate performance
To plan your teaching
To enhance identity
To be sure that teaching program is effective
Why is testing rather than assessment necessary?
A need for a common yardstick which tests give - To make meaningful comparisons
What do the purposes of assessing young learners determine ?
The purpose determines;
every other aspect of how the assessment is conducted
the content of the assessment
( WHAT SHOULD BE MEASURED?)
methods of data collection
( SHOULD THE PROCEDURES BE STANDARDİZED? )
( CAN DATA COME FROM THE CHILD, PARENT OR TEACHER?)
technical requirements of the assessment
(WHAT LEVEL OF VALIDITY & RELIABILITY MUST BE ESTABLISHED?)
Issues to consider while assessing young learners
Motor, language, conceptual and social development
Content of language learning:
skills, vocabulary, language use at discourse level
Methods of teaching:
games, songs, stories to carry language content and practice
Aims of language learning:
social , cross-cultural and language learning aims
The desire of parents
Most frequently used method is paper and pencil test
Testing single items of vocabulary and grammar ( sentence based)
Mostly speaking is not tested in a spontaneous way
Difficult to mark oral assessments fairly, so carried out on paper
Assessing Young Learners
During Cognitive Growth
A small percentage of children in the upper elementary years are moving into what
formal operational stage,
when they begin to
hypothesize, build abstract
categories and handle more than two variables at a time.
Their interpretation of symbols in stories and art becomes less literal and their understanding of abstract social concepts, such as democracy, becomes more sophisticated.
Most children move into this stage during secondary school
The attention span
of young learners in the early years of schooling is short, as little as
10 to 15 minutes
easily diverted and distracted
by other pupils.
YL are developing abilities to think in new ways.
It is important to take into account the stage of development for appropriate assessment.
Assessment should take place in a quiet setting.
It should be assessed through team games .
Assessment During Emotional and Social Growth
Take into account students likes and interests.
Peer influence may affect the reaction to certain tasks
Assessment should involve cultural-based topics and tasks.
Environment should be “ psychologically safe”.
Tasks can involve movement and play.
Instructions and reviews should be clear.
Feedback should be immediate and positive
Emotional and Social Growth
Socioeconomic and cultural background influence children´s individual experience of the world.
They start developing a positive or negative concept of self.
Development of motor skills:
1. Gross-motor skills: run, climb, balance.
2. Fine-motor skills: write, cut, draw. Implies hand-eye coordination.
Assessing Young Learners During Physical Growth
Writing is helped through drawings in the first years.
Children are developing understanding about how reading and writing work.
Assessing Young Learners´ Literacy Skills
Assessment is a wider concept than ‘testing’ and a different thing from Evaluation
‘Any systematic way of finding out about learners’ level of knowledge or skills’
Systematic ways can include the following:
Observation and systematic record-keeping of learners during everyday normal learning activities
collection of children’s course work
possible special ‘set-piece’ events such as pencil and paper tests.
Assessment can be for a number of different purposes
* 8- 10 years : Children are novices as they learn, with help from others, to become more expert in solving problems, in reading and in many more activities.
Testing young children should provide / be ;
A lot of young learner assessment is based on Continuous assessment
to see :
What they have achieved or how they are (Summative assessment)
How well they are doing, in order to help them do better (Formative assessment)
positive attitudes towards assessment
a help to recognize the value of assessment
Testing should be an integral part of assessment
Assessment should be an integral part of teaching programme.
All three should be consistent with each other in terms of learning objectives and tasks which children perform
not be separate from learning
feedback immediately and positively
self assessment as a part of teaching program
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ASSESSING YL
Assessment should bring about benefits for children
It should be tailored to a specific purpose and in harmony with learning
It should be designed recognizing that reliability & validity of assessment increase with children's age
It should be linguistically appropriate
It should be seen from a learning-centered perspective (Vygotsky: we cannot get a true assessment by testing what the child can do e)
It should support learning & teaching
the process and outcomes of assessment can motivate learners;
as assessment activity can be a language use model,
assessment activity and feedback from it can support further learning,
the outcomes of assessment can help teachers plan more effective lessons and can inform the evaluation and improvement of courses and programs)
Assessment is more than testing: The test results do not reflect the big picture
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ASSESSING YL
WASH-BACK EFFECTS OF TESTING
Stress is placed on children by the demands of assessment
Individual children’s learning needs are downgraded in the push to cover the syllabus or course book before the next assessment
Classroom activity is restricted to test preparation
Educational change is limited by the power of the assessment machinery
WASH-BACK EFFECTS OF TESTING
Attention to neglected aspects of learning
(i.e.: oral language)
The effectiveness of policy, methodology, instruction, and materials can be seen.
It refers to a situation where there can be some variation in the way the test is administered
there can be some subjectivity in how test performance is interpreted.
McKay states, that it
“…usually refers to
classroom assessment carried out during the course of teaching and learning process”
Methods of Assessment
Kalbáčová divides the methods into two basic groups (57):
Written – the basic resource is the learners´ written works
Oral – based on verbal communication between the teacher and the learner
This means that everybody concerned understands how decisions are reached and has access to the means by which they are reached.
A lack of transparency can lead to a lack of trust which in turn can lead to lowered motivation.
If children don't know what they must do to "do better" in a school subject
Compatibility with practices in the rest of the curriculum
The most appropriate means of assessing language in children may also be somewhat unfamiliar to teachers, children [and parents!] used to the models of assessment that might exist in other curriculum areas.
- is a simple method, teachers can use to collect feedback, early and often, on how well their students are learning what they are being taught.
The purpose of classroom assessment is to provide teachers and learners with information and insights needed to improve teaching effectiveness and learning quality.
- provides for quick students feedback. It helps the learners check if they have mastered a topic.
It helps the learners check if they have mastered a topic, it informs the learners, not the teachers.
Qualitative and quantitative assessment
ccording to Slavík this is about the consideration of the quality of the learner’s development or the quantity of his or her achievement (69).
It compares the learners´ achievements between each other.
A typical example of this can be the entrance exams to secondary schools where only the best learners of all can succeed.
– “is ongoing, usually informal, assessment during teaching and learning” (McKay 21).
Palomba and Banta suggests “When the feedback from learning activities is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet the learner's need” (128).
In this role, assessment is
intimately linked with students’ learning processes, helping to guide them intheir studies, motivating them, providing feedback on areas of learning requiring further work, and generally promoting the desired learning outcome.
The purposes of this kind of assessment are to provide feedback to students, to diagnose students’ strengths and weaknesses and to help students to develop self-awareness.
The example of this kind of assessment could be an essay, which
is annotated with the teacher’s comments.
Other assessment types
Teachers have to consider carefully what is
the purpose of the assessment and which type of assessment they choose
Many assessment procedures for young learners are embedded in classroom teaching
and the purposes therefore reflect the purposes of teaching and learning” (McKay 145).
Tests given in the textbook used in class
Tests produced by class teacher
Standardized tests & examinations
Collection of students work in a portfolio
Observation & written description of learner performance
Which assessment types to choose
Individual work or project
– the criteria
for this have to be clearly said before
because the final products will significantly vary from student to student
– used when the content of the education is psychomotor skills.
Also practical skills and abilities, the use of theoretical piece of knowledge in practice, creativity, independence and activity are assessed here
Didactic test -
mainly focuses on finding the outcomes from the education. It views the level of knowledge and skills. The test should contain such items, which demand the learner’s involvement of both simple and complicated intellectual operations
(for example creativity, description, derivation and so on).
– involves students making judgments about their own work, can be extremely valuable in helping students to critique their own work.
It involves the student in trying to apply the assessment criteria for themselves and setting their own personal aims.
Methods of Assessment
a set of pieces of creative work collected to be shown to potential people.
It is some kind of a folder where the learner’s written works, artworks nd other kinds of work of a certain time period are placed. Its aim, besides what has been said is also the self-assessment.
It means informal and friendly chats you have with
the children, during which they should feel comfortable enough to express themselves freely.
Conferencing may be carried out either on a one-to-one basis or in small groups of four or five children
Methods of Assessment
Other division by Malach
the object of the essay should be to test the ability to discuss, evaluate, analyze, summarize and criticize.
Group work or projects
– helps to develop the students’ team working skills.
The major assessment problem here is how to identify the individuals’ roles and contributions and to reward it fairly.
Particular demands for tests
Valid and reliable.
Brief and varied tasks
Tasks with stories and games.
Pictures attractive typography
Tasks they can handle
in their L1.
Involve interaction tasks.
Recommended techniques:Testing Listening
Multiple choice pictures.
Recommended techniques:Testing Listening
In listening test for young learners who don’t yet write well : point to the objects which we name or describe
Listening is an active skill that includes the use of many
sub-skills such as predicting content, inferring meaning from content, listening for gist, and listening for detailed information.
Training children to do this gives them a head start in their learning career.
Assessment should, therefore, check progress in a variety of listening sub-skills.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF YOUNG LEARNERS' TESTS
Short attention span - it shouldn't be long - but brief and varied
If necessary - a single test can be broken down into two or more tests
Enjoy stories and plays * games / puzzles/ comics - tasks should reflect this
Responds well to pictures, attractive typography and colour * bubbles for speech,
Be related with cognitive and first language abilities as they are developing
Learn through social interaction * tasks must involve interaction
Integrated tasks can be used if learning involves it
The older the children are, the more they respond well to the techniques used for teenagers and adults
The amount of practice of the items that will be tested is essential
Techniques should be in learning as well ( not just in testing)
Placing objects or identifying people.
Color and draw on existing line drawing.
How to develop listening
We should not expect them to always understand every word and they should know this.
Explain why the children have to listen. Make sure the learners are clear about why they are listening, what the main point or purpose of the activity is.
Help children develop specific strategies for listening.
Set specific listening tasks such as listening in three stages, pre-listening, while-listening, post listening and have activities for each stage.
Listening does not have to rely on the availability of a cassette or pre-recorded material. Most listening is teacher talk.
Keep sentences short and grammatically simple
Use exaggerated intonation to hold the child's attention
Emphasize key words
Limiting the topics talked about to what is familiar
to the child
Frequently repeating and paraphrasing
In reading and writing tests for younger children who have just to started read : put ticks and crosses (or yes or no), unscramble letters
Reading involves various sub-skills similar to the ones in listening: reading for detail (intensive reading), reading for gist (skimming), reading for specific information (scanning), predicting content, and inferring meaning from content and context.
It is important to help children to develop these sub-skills. They are helpful to increase children’s exposure to the target language.
Therefore reading sub-skills should be regularly assessed.
Techniques for Reading
Just as listening is the main source of language when children start to learn a language, print is the second main source. The printed word becomes the main source of expanding and strengthening the language
these are easy to use and can be done regularly
Self Assessment Activities
: these allow pupils to reflect on their learning and express their feelings about their learning.
which can indicate what pupils like and don’t like; what is easy and what they find difficult
Anecdotal Observation sheets
Review of pupils’ workbooks and tasks
that they have completed provide ongoing evidence of learning and achievement.
Pictures and storybooks
that are used in the classroom can serve as stimuli for questions, answers and communication.
Children can contribute to the content of an assessment task or actually create a task of their own. Discussion of task content with the teacher helps to encourage responsibility and maturity,
the children have to think about what they are supposed to know and have to set appropriate performance criteria.
to using traditional tests such as multiple-choice questions, true-false statements, and cloze-tests.
objective, easy to mark, and easy to prepare
the traditional testing philosophy is not an ideal approach for children.
Children see tests as
intimidating and stressfu
Furthermore, traditional tests do not tell us much about what children can actually do.
All they usually give the children as
feedback is a grade or mark.
Any information on children’s progress derived from traditional tests should usually be complemented with information gathered through other
Offering feedback is an integral part of the assessment process and should follow as soon as possible after the assessment task is carried out.
The longer we delay giving feedback, the less meaningful it becomes and the less impact it has on the children.
Feedback can be given in a variety of ways: individually to each child, to groups of children, or to the whole class. It can also be given in the form of self-correction or peer-feedback.
Feedback helps children to discover their strengths and weaknesses, motivates them, and helps them to persist in their learning.
A number or a Letter grade cannot do this for weaker children, the ones most in need of encouragement and motivation.
One of the best ways to give feedback is through conferencing, responding to the children’s journal entries or written feedback in the form of short comments
Peer-feedback can be important to children because it comes from their friends. Train the children to appreciate peer-feedback and to give feedback constructively.
How to give feedback
Making feedback helpful to learners
to correct their language use- accuracy; not only pointing out
errors but also showing why it is incorrect
judgment on the pupils’ performance
advice on what to do to improve the performance
GROUP WORK ASSESSMENT FORM
PORTFOLIO CHECKLIST FOR SS
KEEPING PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT BY TEACHER
(for silent period)
(using visual clues)
A pupil who learns to assess his or her own work moves from being “otherregulated” to “self-regulated” or autonomous.
(Know, Wonder, Learn)
Peer and group assessment
The work sampling system
Developmental guidelines and checklists
This is to keep track of the children’s progress in
extensive reading,using graded readers
It is also a way for them to reflect on their work and to keep a record of their own progress in reading.
The columns in the log are for the children to note when they started
and when they finished reading a book.
It is also a useful record of
their reading speed and the interest they have shown in the books they chose
Keep it in the portfolio for children to record
rhymes they have learned and may have recorded on tape.
Teaching Technique for Listening
‘Listen and do activities’
‘Listen for information’
‘Listen and color’
Sit down, please
Give this pen to Silvy, please
Please, come to the white board
“Has anyone see this boy?” He has dark hair and big ears. He is wearing rubber boots and carrying a football. He has a stripped jersey and short trousers.
Put a cross by theright correct!
Recommended techniques:Testing Reading
That’s bird. It’s orange. That’s a fly. It’s green. That’s a frog. It’s green too. That’s zebra. It’s black and white. I am Teddy and I am light brown. He’s Teddy and we love him. He’s great. I am Teddy and I am great
Organizing & copying
Guided writing activities
Teaching techniques for writing
How to Develop Writing Skills in Young Learners
Make writing materials readily available
Go for a walk with the child and make a list of everything that is of one particular color, perhaps the child's favorite color.
Have the child draw a story in picture form on a blank piece of paper
Have the child choose two different words and write a list of comparisons.
Asking pupils to read aloud quietly to themselves when they are copying the words because this helps them to see the connection between the written and the spoken word
Fill in the Blank
Organizing and copying
Do's & Dont's
Be made up of sentences which can be said in one breath
Have a purpose
Be read or said at normal speed
Maria has a baker’s hat. She’s going to bring it to class tomorrow. We are going to have a bakery shop
Anagram with pictures
Gap filling with pictures
Testing Oral Ability
Recommended techniques:Testing Oral Interaction
Guessing who I am describing.
Discovering common pictures.
Finding common objects in two pictures.
Students A and B work in pairs to learn famous building and direction.
A: Is there a museum?
B: Yes, there is
2. A: Where is the museum?
B: It is on Tottenham-
Speaking consists of a number of elements such as pronunciation, intonation, and turn-taking.
But the overall aim of speaking is to achieve oral communication,
i.e. to be able to convey messages
When assessing children, the emphasis should be on their communicative ability in
basic functions such as asking questions or introducing themselves.
The students work in group to describe what picture is. The group describe the picture accordingly
The rest of the groups decide the order picture
Evaluation is the process of gathering information in order to determine the extent to which a language programme meets its goals.
Relevant information can be teachers’ and parents’ opinions,
textbook quality, exam results, and children’s attitudes.
Some of the
tools of the evaluation process are tests, questionnaires, textbook
analysis, and observation.
This is a general term which includes all methods used to gather information about
children’s knowledge, ability, understanding,attitudes, and motivation
Assessment can be carried out through a number of instruments (
for example, tests, self-assessment), and can be formal or informal.
Testing is one of the procedures that can be used to assess a child’s performance. A test has
a certain objective
, for example, to see to what extent a child understands a written text.
The test then checks
whether the child has achieved this objective
.Testing uses t
asks or exercises and assigns marks or grades based on quantifiable results.
Both formative and summative assessment can have an impact on children's motivation,
but in different ways.
Formative assessment is more likely to be associated with positive feelings
by learners towards the subject studied, while summative assessment need not be associated
with too many negative feelings if it is felt to be "fair" in some ways.
Formative purposes -
directed towards helping teachers to adjust their teaching in order to support the learners better,
towards advising learners how to adjust their own approaches -
and this would take place throughout a course of teaching.
Summative purposes -
to see how well learners have done at the end of a period of teaching.
The results of summative assessment are often used to affect learners chances
(e.g. selection or rejection for the next stage of learning, deciding who wins the prize, who
gets the scholarship money).
Children start developing independence.
School years: deal with hostility,
dominance and friendship
Interact with peers:
to lead and to be lead
to hide anxiety
Text that students can read and really understand.
Set clear expectation for the writing tasks.
Tasks should help them to feel good and to encourage creativity.
is very important,
it is always necessary to ask how much are the assessed
Explicitness in terms of learning outcomes and
assessment criteria is vitally important in attempting to achieve reliability.
They should be explicit to the students when the task is set.
- just as important as reliability.
Does the assessed task really assess
What one might want it to?
A valid assessment does not require any skills or any
extra knowledge that are irrelevant to what is actually being assessed.
Fairness- It needs to be considered in the design & use of assessment (Gipps, 1994)
It should be age- appropriate in both content and data collection
Children & parents should understand assessment issues.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ASSESSING YL
- sometimes consistency means no more than enforcing rules and expectations - the same for everyone. Teachers have to know what drives their
purposes in doing what they want to accomplish.
Clarity of purpose
– assessment works best when it is based on clear statements of purpose or a goal. For example the assessment criteria need to be understandable and explicit so that all the learners know and comprehend what is expected of them.
In practice, the pupils know how the quality of their
achievements will be judged.
– assessment should be based on understanding of how pupils learn.
Learning is a complex process and it is necessary to deal with this.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ASSESSING YL
it helps learners take responsibility for their own learning.
Assessment includes several strategies for self assessment emphasizing the next steps needed for further studying.
assessment has to be sensible to the learners´ needs, should take learners´ momentary needs that might influence the assessment into account
OTHER BIG ISSUES
OTHER BIG ISSUES
Assessment procedures need to be do-able in
reasonable amounts of time
that do not interfere with teaching too greatly, and in ways that do not take up too much of the
to devise and analyze, and which also do not take up
too much class time
be better spent on learning.
Procedures that are
well known for older learners are not all suitable for younger ones
There is much work left to be done in the field of finding imaginative and possibly even playful ways of allowing children to show what they can do.
It is important also to see success and failure from a child’s point of view. It is not just a question of a ‘good’ result increasing motivation but of the way in which the children are enabled to see that the results are actually linkable to actions on their part .
It means using a test that involves standardized
administration and that has norms and a formal interpretive procedure
Standardized administration means that the test contains administration
instructions that assure that everyone who administers the test does it in exactly
the same way.
A typical example could be theses.
Summative, also called final, assessment
is the formal testing of what has
been learnt to
produce marks or grades
which may be used for reports of
It usually takes place
at the end of a school semester
for the teachers how well their learners have performed throughout the whole time period.
The purpose is to judge the quality and characteristics of the student.
Purposes of summative assessment are to pass or fail a student, to grade pupils, to allow progress to further study, to predict success in future study and so on. Example of this kind of assessment is a school report.
Methods of Assessment
Methods of Assessment
Alternative techniques of assessment for Young learners
Learner-developed assessment tasks
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING
Tuğçe Taş Doğdu
CONCLUSIONS OF ASSESSING YOUNG LEARNERS
It is important to take into account students cognitve, social, emotional and physical growth in order to design appropiate tasks for assessment.
Assessment can have a possitive or a negative impact on students´ lives, reason why assessment must be valid and fair.
L1 should be considered as a tool of reference for young students in their process of learning a L2.
Language learning is a social process rather than an individual process.
Feedback is important to improve the learning process , to encourage and motivate students in their learning process.
Assessment not only affect learners, it also affects stakeholders in diferent ways.