К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012|
Автор: Слямханова Мадина Кажмухановна
The success in
teaching the English language to great extent depends on the level of focus on
the knowledge quality and on the attention paid for preventive inspection of mistakes
[10, с. 90]. Long pedagogical experience shows that checking pupils’ knowledge
in the form of short control tasks, conventionally called tests, can be of
great use in the process of teaching. We can assuredly say that tests are not
only the most effective form of knowledge control but it is also the more objective
indicator of pupils’ assimilation of language than usual current and individual
checking. Regular testing stimulates the activity and attention of pupils on
the lesson, increases their responsibility in making classroom tasks and home
certainly not the only way to assess students, but there are many good reasons
for including a test in the language course.
• A test can give
the teacher valuable information about where the students are in their learning
and can affect what the teacher will cover next. They will help a teacher to
decide if her teaching has been effective and help to highlight what needs to
be reviewed. Testing can be as much an assessment of the teaching as the
• Tests can be
extremely motivating and give students a sense of progress. They can highlight
areas for students to work on and tell them what has and hasn't been effective
in their learning.
• Tests can give
students a sense of accomplishment as well as information about what they know
and what they need to review.
• Tests can also
have a positive effect in that they encourage students to review material
covered on the course.
• Tests are also a
learning opportunity after they have been taken. The feedback after a test can
be invaluable in helping a student to understand something she couldn't do
during the test.
In order to
compile a good test it is necessary that the test should be valid, reliable,
scorable, economic and administrable. The first criterion is validity. If the
test measures what it is intended to measure, it is a valid test. If a test,
for example, measures pronunciation and nothing else, it is a valid test of
criterion is reliability. If a test yields the same results not once, i.e. if
the results are not accidental but they reveal some stability, it is a reliable
test. If a test can be scored with case so that the users are able to handle
it, the test measures what economy is a practical criterion [3, p.126]. If a
test measures what we want it to test in a reasonable time considering the
testing situation, it is an economic test. Testing time is precious time. We
must test in one hour what has been learned in a month or a year or several
years. The test will be administered if any teacher, not specially trained can
handle the conduct of testing with ease and the latter does not require
The teacher tests
the pupil’s command of the target language, that is, his ability to use it in
its two forms, oral and written. Therefore, the items of testing should fully
correspond to the aims and objectives. They are: 1) aural comprehension
(listening), 2) speaking (monologue and dialogue), 3) reading (oral and silent),
4) writing (words, sentences, dictations, written reproductions, etc.).
In our schools
oral testing often takes the form of questioning the class or some individuals.
The manner in which each pupil reacts to the teacher’s questions shows his
readiness for the lesson and his achievement in learning some particular
material. This often results in assigning marks to several pupils. Since there
are many items of testing as well as pupils in the class the teacher needs special
tests to measure his pupils’ achievements. At present the following tests are
available: teacher-made tests, ready-made tests (for example, in the Teacher’s
Book), and standardized tests (made by the Department of Education). Naturally,
teacher-made tests are the best because teacher knows the material his pupils
have covered better than anyone else does, that is why he can administer a test
which will correspond to his pupils’ capacities. However, in administering
tests he should always keep in mind the items of testing, that is, the syllabus
requirements for this particular form. [4, p.178].
Great number of
tests involves skills in listening comprehension. These may be answering “yes”
any questions, choosing answers from multiple-choice items on cards distributed
beforehand, etc. They involve tests on spelling. The examples of them are the
following tests on spelling of some particular sound:
Pupils listen to
the words. Then they are to define whether couples of words are the same or different:
The testing of
listening may be administered in two ways depending on pupils’ reaction to the
material they hear. A text is presented either by the teacher or on tape. Each
pupil is given a set of pictures (3-4) one of which corresponds to the item
that he hears. Pupil listens to the text and identifies the picture by raising
it (immediate testing) or by putting a mark (a number) in a special place
provided for it (delayed testing). A text is presented, preferably on the tape.
The class or each pupil is given a definite task before listening. During
after-listening stage pupils are asked to do special assignments [2, p.130].
oral comprehension are to be held on more complicated language material –
sentences, dialogues, whole text. The sentence is read for pupils. And pupils
are to find the sentence which is true about the text.
spent his childhood in France.
a) Fred used to
work in France.
b) Fred lived in France as a boy.
c) Fred now has
his home in France.
d) Fred has just
returned from France.
The analogous test
can be conducted as a dialogue.
is the most difficult as the teacher will want to test pronunciation, stress,
sustained speaking, use of vocabulary and grammatical structures. The best way
to measure the achievements in speaking is by testing each pupil individually.
But this is very time-consuming and, although the teacher does his best to
question as many pupils as he possibly can, he fails to listen to all, and as a
result this major language skill is often not controlled in any way whatsoever.
Instead the teacher tests knowledge of words, structures; ability to ask and
answer questions in written form, ability to describe a situation or topic
suggested. In order to avoid this, the following testing technique may be
proposed. Each pupil records his response on the tape. The teacher plays back the
tape as he has time and evaluates each pupil’s performance. Contemporary
teaching aids make this available. It has been calculated that it takes a pupil
1-1,5 minutes to make a response containing 3-4 sentences. The test must be
constructed in such a way that the pupil wouldn’t need a lengthy answer but his
response must show his ability to pronounce and intone, use certain vocabulary
and grammatical structures, and to demonstrate whether his speech is sustained
or not. It will not take the teacher more than half an hour to evaluate the
achievement of all his pupils in a given form and get a clear picture of each individual
on a given topic. Regular oral tests will increase pupil’s sense of
responsibility and desire to master the spoken language [8, p.44]. It is very
difficult to make up narrow directed and readable objective tests on such
complex skill as speaking.
Testing reading deals
with comprehension and speed. The former is more important than the latter.
Testing reading may be administered aloud or silently. Each pupil gets a passage,
accompanied by a set of questions on cards which can be true-and-false type,
multiple-choice, or a type that requires a statement for an answer. In case of
reading aloud the test may be administered in the language laboratory with each
pupil recording his reading. Subsequent evaluation is carried out in the manner
described above for measuring speaking skills. If pupils read silently the
teacher collects cards and evaluates every pupil [8, p.21].
Tests on reading
differ in the way of checking pupils’ knowledge –ability to read separate words
or ability to read and understand the content of the extract.
and grammar is carried out indirectly or directly. All the above mentioned
tests imply testing vocabulary and grammar since the pupil cannot give a satisfactory
answer to any test if he doesn’t know the words and grammar items required.
This is indirect testing. However, the teacher may administer direct testing
when he proposes a vocabulary test or a grammar test. Tests on checking
knowledge of grammar structures are extremely various [7, p. 63]. Among them
one can point out the test on making up sentences using separate words. All
words are enumerated and pupils on sheets of paper write only sequence of
figures, for example 53124, etc. This kind of job makes checking tests easier.
Sometimes, pupils are suggested to insert some words (often modal words,
particles, gerund, etc.) into the sentences. (The teacher enumerates all
positions for inserting in the sentence).
1. Articles: He
was elected … President.
a) a; b) an; c)
the; d) 0 ..
The machine consists …3 main parts.
a) in; b) from; c)
of; d) 0 .
3. Tenses: The
train is coming at 5 o’clock.
a) It’s 5 o’clock
now and the train is coming;
b) The train comes
at 5 every day;
c) The train will
come at 5;
d) The train came
often laughed at by his friends.
a) He often
laughed with his friends;
b) His friends
often laughed at him;
c)He often laughed
at his friends;
d) His friends
were often laughed at (by him).
You are ready, ….
a) isn’t it?; b)
don’t you?; c) aren’t you?; d) are you?
Tests on checking
lexis also have several variants [1, p.165].
1) the teacher
gives pupils several photos or pictures with similar sets of things (animals,
plants, family members, etc.) He calls anything in them and pupils raise the
appropriate photo or picture. Of course, such kind of test is not very economic
because of the necessity to make large number of photos.
2) at the initial
stages, when the vocabulary of pupils is not very large, one can give them a
task to define which of 3-4 words can be combined with a key word : “to break”
a)a cap; b) a cup;
c) a book; d) a ball..
It goes without
saying that this test can be conducted only when pupils know not only the definitions
of words, included into the test, but also their combinability.
At more advanced
stages pupils can define equivalent words or word combinations in the test:
“He enjoyed the
a) He joined the
party; b) He liked the party; c) He arranged the party.
in writing as a rule are based on the task that pupils must correct the
mistakes in the sentences:
It was raining the
I’ll come in 2
I like spots and
Very often tests
of multiple choice type are offered:
a) f; b) ph; c)
Table 1 presents
test formats applicable for each of the four language skills [6, p. 35].
Table 1. Test formats for different
Spotting the differences