What does assessment literacy mean to language teachers?
What does assessment literacy mean to language teachers? Vivien Berry, British Council Susan Sheehan, University of Huddersfield International Conference on Language Testing and Assessment and New Directions Shanghai, China, 2-3 December 2017 Acknowledgements We acknowledge the support of the British Council and the University of Huddersfield The views expressed in this presentation
are those of the presenters and do not represent those of the British Council or the University of Huddersfield Outline of the presentation Todays talk will have 5 sections: 1. Introduction to the project 2. Analysis of teachers comments
3. Materials development 4. Topics chosen 5. Conclusions 1. The Project Purpose of the research
Qualitatively orientated study of teachers knowledge of assessment and training needs 3 stages of data collection Initial baseline interviews
Observations and follow-up interviews Focus group interviews Initial baseline interviews: Conducted in School of Education of British University with 3 experienced EFL teachers, 1 female + 2 male, age range 30-50 years Asked teachers about their experiences of
assessment and how they had developed their assessment practices Discussed initial teacher training and other training opportunities they had had Classroom observations and follow-up interviews: Conducted in International Study Centre of British University with 3 different experienced teachers, 2 female + 1 male, age range 30-40 years
Checklist of 16 observations, every 3 minutes. Teachers reflected on why they had used particular assessment techniques in class Focus group discussions:
Conducted in teaching centres in Madrid and Paris with 48 experienced teachers, 25 female + 23 male, age range 25-60 years Taught general English and EAP to all proficiency levels; all ages of students from kindergarten to adults Teachers discussed how they used assessment in their classes
2. Analysis of teachers comments The term Language Assessment Literacy was not popular with teachers and many were not even familiar with the term: I had never heard of it before I was asked to do the interview I have no idea what it means 3 main themes emerged:
1. Teachers discussed their lack of training in assessment but felt the topics they had studied were of greater relevance to them in the classroom 2. Testing was discussed more often than assessment 3. There was a need for practical ideas
and activities - teachers did not express an interest in theory 3. Materials development Types of materials teachers would like: Wed like speaking tasks task and criteria Wed like clear criteria for marking speaking and writing
Examples of level recording or writings for non-exam classes Video examples of people in everyday situations using the language A recording of a student and say why this student was assessed at this level
Videos of people in everyday situations with analysis where they break down and what they do well Materials teachers do not want: We dont want mountains of materials not like a bombardment of information Im not interested in reams and
reams of reading We dont want lots and lots of slides how about videos? Practicality was stressed by the participants: Some teachers want something that is efficient and easy to use because they have a full timetable and they cannot possibly devote any more time than what they have already given
Good examples of assessments that work something that is tried and tested To find out what other people have found to be a reliable procedure 4. Topics chosen Language Assessment for Teachers
Assessing Level and CEFR Assessing Young Learners Assessment for Learning Language Assessment Resources
Assessing level and the CEFR Helps teachers to understand the concept of levels Related to understanding the China Standards of English Assessing level and CEFR A toolkit for teacher development Overview This module provides an introduction to
issues surrounding level and how to create assessment tasks at a particular level. Level is discussed in the context of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Copyright: Matt Wright 17 Learning outcomes By the end of this module you will have developed: an awareness of the CEFR an understanding of an approach to creating assessment tasks an appreciation of the challenges of establishing level
18 The CEFR The CEFR describes foreign language proficiency at six levels: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2 The scale starts at A1 and finishes at C2 More information about the CEFR can be found here A good introductory video to the CEFR can be found here Copyright: Matt Wright
19 5. Conclusions Teachers have minimal training in assessment and have little interest in the theoretical underpinnings of assessment There is evidence that assessment practices are rooted in teachers own past learning experiences
Teachers also engage in developing their assessment practices by learning from each other There may be a disconnect between teachers interests and beliefs and those of language assessment professionals and researchers URLs Materials (5 modules):
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