К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011
Автор: Самойлова И.М.
teachers constantly encounter the problem of arousing and maintaining student
motivation to learn the target language, especially if learners are taught in a
foreign language setting, where authentic language input may not be readily available
outside the classroom. Most teachers strive to awake interest to this subject,
try to diversify the tasks, use different methods and techniques in the
classroom, and implementation of a rather new form of assessment can also play
a big role in language skills development.
For a long time
teachers and program administrators have been struggled to identify appropriate
procedures to assess the knowledge and abilities of ELL (English Language
Learning) students. “The path has been difficult in part because of the need to
identify varying levels of knowledge and proficiency in English and in part
because the purposes of assessment with language minority students are so
varied and complex. Assessment information is needed by administrators,
teachers, staff developers, students, and parents to assist in determining
appropriate program placements and instructional activities as well as in
monitoring student progress”.
There can be seen
a rapid expansion of interest in alternatives to traditional forms of
assessment in education. The form of assessment used for both standardized
testing and classroom assessment for as long as most educators can remember is
the multiple-choice test. While this type of test has been a mainstay of
educational programs, educators from all backgrounds have raised concerns about
its usefulness as a primary measure of student achievement and are seeking
alternatives through multiple forms of assessment. These educators are also
seeking assessments that more closely resemble instructional activities in
classrooms (Aschbacher P.R.).
skills are necessity nowadays because of integration of our county into
international community, so it is a very actual problem nowadays what should be
done to reinforce students’ motivation and hence enhance teaching.
This work offers a
general overview of available research literature, followed by some pedagogical
implications to improve and develop assessment in the language classroom.
Assessment. Before giving some definitions of assessment we would begin with
the following quotation: "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).
assessment consists of any method of finding out what a student knows or can do
that is intended to show growth and inform instruction, and is an alternative
to traditional forms of testing, namely, multiple-choice tests. Alternative
assessment is by definition criterion-referenced and is typically authentic
because it is based on activities that represent classroom and real-life
interest in authentic assessment is based on two major issues: current
assessment procedures do not assess the full range of essential student
outcomes, and teachers have difficulty using the information gained for
instructional planning. Educators have questioned “fill in the bubble” or multiple-choice
tests because these forms of assessment are not adequate to assess the full
range of higher-order thinking skills considered important in today’s
curriculum. Further, these types of tests do not represent recent improvements
in our understanding of what and how students learn. Multiple-choice tests,
while objective and highly reliable for most students, have emphasized the
assessment of discreet skills and do not contain authentic representations of
classroom activities. The tests therefore lack the content validity considered
important to ensure student interest and motivation during assessment. In their
classrooms, students read interesting literature, write papers, integrate
resource information with personal viewpoints, work on projects cooperatively,
share information while summarizing their conclusions, and use information from
one content area (like mathematics) to solve problems and display information
on other content areas. Little of the knowledge and strategic processes needed
to accomplish these tasks is captured in multiple-choice or single-answer
tests” (J. Michael O’Malley, p. 2).
we are mostly interested in innovations of assessment of English language
learning students. “Accurate and effective assessment of language minority students
is essential to ensure that ELL students gain access to instructional programs
that meet their needs. The failure of assessment and instruction to interact
effectively is most evident when inappropriate assessment approaches lead to
inaccurate identification, improper program placements, inadequate monitoring
of student progress, and the long-term failure of instruction. Conversely,
appropriate assessment has the potential to ensure that these students are on
course to becoming literate and able participants in English language classroom
settings” (J. Michael O’Malley, p. 2).
With ELL students,
assessment is far more complex and challenging than with native speakers of
English. J. Michael O’Malley suggests six purposes assessment is used for with
1) Screening and
identification: to identify students eligible for special language and content
area support programs.
2) Placement: to
determine the language proficiency and content area competencies of students in
order to recommend an appropriate educational program.
Reclassification or exit: to determine if as student has gained the language
skills and content area competencies needed to benefit from instruction in
grade-level classrooms, (i.e., from all-English programs not specifically
designed to address the needs of ELL students).
student progress: to review student language and content area learning in
evaluation: to determine the effects of federal, state, or local instructional
to guarantee that students attain expected educational goals or standards,
including testing for high school graduation.
O’Malley maintains that traditional forms of assessment such as standardized
tests are inappropriate for ELL students for a variety of reasons. Standardized
tests use multiple-choice items, a format that may be unfamiliar to students
with limited experience in U.S. public schools. Moreover, multiple-choice items
assume a level of English language proficiency that ELL students may not have
acquired. The subtle distinctions made on various items for vocabulary, word
analysis, reading, and listening subtests may produce information on what the
student does not know but little information about what the student does know.
This gives the teacher an incomplete picture of student needs and strengths.
The language components of standardized tests mainly assess reading and vocabulary
knowledge and ignore progress in written and oral language, important components
of language-based instructional programs. Standardized tests in content areas,
such as math and science, may not assess what ELL students know because of the
complexity of the language in which the questions are asked. These tests have
not been effective in assessing the higher-order thinking skills students use
in solving problems, analyzing texts, or evaluating ideas.
"traditional assessment" (TA) Jon Mueller “is referring to the
forced-choice measures of multiple-choice tests, fill-in-the-blanks, true-false,
matching and the like that have been and remain so common in education.
Students typically select an answer or recall information to complete the
assessment. These tests may be standardized or teacher-created. They may be
administered locally or statewide, or internationally”.
and authentic assessments is a belief that the primary mission of schools is to
help develop productive citizens. That is the essence of most mission
statements. From this common beginning, the two perspectives on assessment
diverge. Essentially, TA is grounded in educational philosophy that adopts the
following reasoning and practice:
1) A school's
mission is to develop productive citizens;
2) To be a
productive citizen an individual must possess a certain body of knowledge and
schools must teach this body of knowledge and skills;
4) To determine if
it is successful, the school must then test students to see if they acquired
the knowledge and skills.
In the TA model,
the curriculum drives assessment. "The" body of knowledge is determined
first. That knowledge becomes the curriculum that is delivered. Subsequently,
the assessments are developed and administered to determine if acquisition of
the curriculum occurred.
authentic assessment (AA) springs from the following reasoning and practice:
1) A school's
mission is to develop productive citizens;
2) To be a
productive citizen, an individual must be capable of performing meaningful
tasks in the real world;
3) Therefore, schools
must help students become proficient at performing the tasks they will
encounter when they graduate;
4) To determine if
it is successful, the school must then ask students to perform meaningful tasks
that replicate real world challenges to see if students are capable of doing
Thus, in AA, assessment
drives the curriculum. That is, teachers first determine the tasks that
students will perform to demonstrate their mastery, and then a curriculum is
developed that will enable students to perform those tasks well, which would
include the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills.
We can also learn
something about what AA is by looking at the other common names for this form
of assessment. For example, AA is sometimes referred to as:
1) Performance Assessment
(or Performance-based) -- so-called because students are asked to perform
meaningful tasks. This is the other most common term for this type of
assessment. Some educators distinguish performance assessment from AA by
defining performance assessment as performance-based but with no reference to
the authentic nature of the task). For these educators, authentic assessments
are performance assessments using real-world or authentic tasks or contexts.
Assessment - so-called because AA is an alternative to traditional assessments.
Assessment - so-called because AA provides more direct evidence of meaningful
application of knowledge and skills. If a student does well on a
multiple-choice test we might infer indirectly that the student could apply
that knowledge in real-world contexts, but we would be more comfortable making
that inference from a direct demonstration of that application.
So, the term
authentic assessment is used to describe the multiple forms of assessment that
reflect student learning, achievement, motivation, and attitudes on instructionally-relevant
classroom activities. Examples of authentic assessment include performance assessment,
portfolios, and student self assessment.
assessment consists of any form of assessment in which the student constructs a
response orally or in writing (Feuer and Fulton 1993; Herman, Aschbacher, and
Winters 1992). The student response may be elicited by the teacher in formal or
informal assessment contexts or may be observed during classroom instructional
or non-instructional settings. Performance assessment requires students to
"accomplish complex and significant tasks, while bringing to bear prior
knowledge, recent learning, and relevant skills to solve realistic or authentic
problems" (Herman, Achbacher, and Winters, p. 2). Students may be called
on to use materials or perform hands-on activities in reaching solutions to
problems. Examples are oral reports, writing samples, individual and group
projects, exhibitions, and demonstrations.
Some of the
characteristics of performance assessment are the following (adapted from
Aschbacher 1991; Herman, Aschbacher, and Winters 1992):
Response: students construct a response, provide an expanded response, engage
in a performance, or create a product;
Thinking: the student typically uses higher levels of thinking in constructing
responses to open-ended questions;
tasks are meaningful, challenging, and engaging activities that mirror good instruction
or other real-world contexts where the student is expected to perform;
the tasks call for integration of language skills and, in some cases, for
integration of knowledge and skills across content areas;
5) Process and
Product: procedures and strategies for deriving the correct response or for
exploring multiple solutions to complex tasks are often assessed as well the
product or the "correct" answer;
6) Depth Versus
Breadth: performance assessments provide information in depth about a student's
skills or mastery as contrasted with the breadth of coverage more typical of
assessment often requires teacher judgment of student responses. To aid in
making the judgments accurate and reliable, a scoring scale referred to as a
rubric is used, in which numerical values are associated with performance
levels, such as 1 = Basic, 2 = Proficient, and 3 = Advanced. The criteria for
each performance level must be precisely defined in terms of what the student
actually does to demonstrate skill or proficiency at that level. One of the
characteristics of performance assessment is that the criteria are made public
and known in advance (Aschbacher 1991). Accordingly, students can participate
in setting and using the criteria in self-assessment of their own performance.
assessment is a systematic collection of student work that is analyzed to show
progress over time with regard to instructional objectives (Valencia 1991). Examples of portfolio entries include writing samples, reading logs,
drawings, audio or videotapes, and/or teacher and student comments on progress
made by the student. One of the defining features of portfolio assessment is
the involvement of students in selecting samples of their own work to show
growth or learning over time.
self-assessment is a key element in authentic assessment and in self-regulated
learning, "the motivated and strategic efforts of students to accomplish
specific purposes" (Paris and Ayers 1994, p. 26). Self-assessment promotes
direct involvement in learning and the integration of cognitive abilities with
motivation and attitude toward learning. In becoming self-regulated learners,
students make choices, select learning activities, and plan how to use their
time and resources. They have the freedom to choose challenging activities,
take risks, advance their own learning, and accomplish desired goals. Because
students have control over their learning, they can decide how to use the
resources available to them within or outside the classroom. Students who are
self-regulated learners collaborate with other students in exchanging ideas,
eliciting assistance when needed, and providing support to their peers. As they
go about learning, these types of students construct meaning, revise their
understandings, and share meaning with others. These students take pride in
their efforts and in the new meanings they construct because they see the connection
between their efforts and learning success. Finally, self-regulated learners
monitor their own performance and evaluate their progress and accomplishments
(Paris and Ayers 1994). Self-assessment and self-management are at the core of
this type of learning and should be a regular part of instruction.
assessment is important for ELL students as well as for students in grade-level
classrooms. Teachers of language minority students have benefited from the
interest of the general education community in authentic assessment and are
adding to this repertoire of new assessment procedures. With ELL students,
teachers using authentic assessment can assess students at all levels of
proficiency for language and content knowledge in both English and in their
“The use of
authentic assessment places greater demands on teachers than the use of
single-answer tests. Time and management skills are needed to design and use
these assessments, and judgment is required in reaching conclusions about
student learning and student progress. Because authentic assessment is
relatively new, few teachers have had sustained professional development
opportunities on the design, creation, and use of these assessment procedures.
The changing models of student learning and instruction also require teachers
to understand the reasons for the new directions in assessment and how to link
assessment with instruction” (J. Michael O’Malley, p. 6).
Types of Authentic
Assessment. There are numerous types of authentic assessment used in classrooms
today. Teachers already use many of these types of assessments but do so in a
relatively informal way that does not provide systematic information about
student learning or about the goals of instruction (J. Michael O’Malley, p. 11).
proficiency of ELL students should be assessed regularly, especially with very
young students or when students have yet to acquire sufficient command over the
language for written assessments to be appropriate. Students can respond orally
to questions about a range of topics that might include their prior knowledge,
activities, and interests or preferences. The teacher may be interested either
in the substantive information collected or in judging the student's
proficiency in responding to the questions, both of which can be used for
instructional planning. In this type of assessment, teachers can ask probe questions
to determine student comprehension or command over specific aspects of the language.
Teachers of ELL students in one school system told us they did not provide
instruction for oral proficiency "because it was not being tested by the
county." You may listen regularly to students' oral language but may not
have a systematic procedure for analyzing oral proficiency or for recording
growth in oral language over time.
In the following
type of assessment, story or text retelling, students read or listen to text
and then retell the main ideas or selected details. As with the other
assessment activities listed here, this type of assessment is authentic because
it is based on or closely resembles actual classroom activities. What makes it
an assessment approach is the systematic collection and recording of
information about the performance of individual students. Students respond
orally and can be rated on how they describe the events in the story (story
structure), their response to the story or text, and their language
proficiency. Teachers or other students can ask probe questions about the text.
Students at all levels of English proficiency can participate in story or text
retelling. For example, students who are more proficient in English can read a
story to a less proficient peer, who can then retell the story in English or
the native language, if preferred. In this way, students who have little
proficiency in English are able to participate in the assessment, even in ESL
classrooms where the teacher is not proficient in each language spoken by the
As part of
instruction, students are often asked to generate writing samples to meet a
number of different purposes. These may include expressive or narrative writing
(a personal experience, story, or poem), expository or informative writing
(writing to explain or clarify a concept or process, often in a content area),
persuasive reports (convince another of a particular position), or some
combination of the different purposes. Students can also be asked to write in
different genres, such as a letter, a journal entry, an essay, a newspaper
report, or a research paper (a paper requiring use of reference materials,
critical judgment, and citations). Students might produce the writing on demand
in a fixed period of time or might be given the time to generate it after
completing some readings on a subject, discussing the reading with peers, and
editing and revising a draft of the product.
have their own criteria for judging; student writing and assigning grades.
Grades will tend to vary from teacher to teacher unless they are based on
specific performance criteria. The assessment procedures we suggest include the
use of scoring rubrics for both holistic and analytic scoring in specific
domains of writing, such as vocabulary, composition, style, sentence
construction, and mechanics. With ELL students, as with other students,
self-evaluation of writing promotes a reflective approach to learning and
contributes to an understanding of effective writing processes.
complete a project on a specific topic and/or exhibit their work. An exhibition
can include displays or models of buildings or objects appropriate to an instructional
setting, role-plays, simulations, artistic creations, videotaped segments,
charts, graphs, tables, etc. A project may be conducted individually or in
small groups and is often presented through an oral or written report. Projects
and exhibitions presented orally can be reviewed by a panel of judges rating
the content presented, its organization, and/or the language used (J. Michael
O’Malley, p. 2).
Teachers often ask
students to develop a presentation on a particular historic period and to
generate drawings and written products appropriate to the period. This approach
may be particularly effective when ELL students are taught to communicate
step-by-step procedures or project descriptions.
conduct an experiment in science using actual materials, or illustrate how
something works (like a microscope). The experiment or demonstration is
presented through an oral or written report - which describes the steps and
materials necessary to reproduce the experiment and any hypotheses that were
tested, methods or observations used, or conclusions drawn. Students can be
rated on their understanding of the concept, explanation of scientific methods,
and / or the language used in the explanation
Items is a type of performance assessment in which students read or review
textual materials and then respond to a series of open-ended questions eliciting
comprehension and higher-order thinking. The assessment often focuses on how students
apply information rather than on how much they recall of what has been taught.
The student might produce a graphic depiction of the substance "arid
organization of the readings (e.g., a semantic map), a brief comment on one or
two points made in the readings, or an extended essay discussing or evaluating
the text materials. Thus, students are able to respond in a variety of
different ways appropriate to their level of English proficiency. Constructed-response
items can be used in all of the content areas. In math and in the sciences,
these types of questions are often used to ask students how they solved a
problem or reached a conclusion. This type of assessment is authentic in that
it draws on the kinds of thinking and reasoning skills students use in classrooms,
presents problems or questions that are typical of classroom instruction, and
encourages students to apply classroom learning in real-life settings.
observe students' attention to tasks, responses to different types of assignments,
or interactions with other students while working cooperatively toward a goal.
Both spontaneous events and planned classroom activities can be the subject of
these observations. Especially with planned classroom activities, teachers can
observe students' use of academic language and higher order thinking skills in
task-oriented discussions with other students. Most likely, you already observe
daily student interactions to ensure that the students are on-task and working
productively. To turn your observations into assessments, you need to record
observations systematically over time to note changes in student performance.
These changes should be summarized in personal notes for communicating with the
student, with parents, or with other teachers. With ELL students, this type of
observation is particularly important because we need to document what these
students can do and build on existing areas of strength in addition to noting
their response to various curriculum or instructional approaches.
A portfolio is a
purposeful collection of student work that is intended to show progress over
time. The portfolio may include samples of student work, usually selected by
the student or by the student and teacher to represent learning based on
instructional objectives. Although portfolios have become popular over the past
decade, we know that most teachers are not using them to their best advantage:
collecting information purposefully and systematically over time to reflect
learning with regard to instructional objectives. Each portfolio entry may be
scored using a scoring rubric or checklist.
portfolio can be scored as well, based on the extent to which instructional
goals have been met. The one major limitation that some of the techniques have
is the amount of time required for the teacher to collect the information or to
score the students' performance. We discuss various ways in which teachers can
deal with this limitation in the appropriate section as each form of assessment
is described. We justify the extra time involved because we believe that authentic
assessment is an integral part of instruction rather than a separate piece that
imposes on instruction or draws time away from instruction.
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Feuer M.J., Fulton K. (1993). The
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Herman J.L., Aschbacher P.R., and Winters L. (1992). A practical Guide to
Herman, J.L. (1991). Research in Cognition and Learning: Implications for
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Michael J. O’Malley, Lorraine Valdez Pierce (1996). Authentic Assessment for English.
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with Portfolios and Authentic Assessment.
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(1988). Revitalizing classroom assessment: The highest instructional priority.
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011