Need help in designing assessments to IELTS equivalence

<b> Forum for the discussion of assessment and testing of ESL/EFL students </b>

Moderators: Dimitris, maneki neko2, Lorikeet, Enrico Palazzo, superpeach, cecil2, Mr. Kalgukshi2

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:02 am

Need help in designing assessments to IELTS equivalence

Post by sainthood » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:57 pm

Hi all!

Next semester, I have the dubiously honourable task of IELTS preparation for 2nd year students. They need to have an IELTS equivalent of 6.0 (in all 4 macro skills).

Being in China, the university pass mark is 60%, thus, 60% should equal IELTS 6.0. Given that they're not going to be getting an IELTS 9.0, I think the 100% mark should probably be equal to IELTS 7.0 (maybe...).

How do I do this? Any tips or pointers? Any websites that might help?

I also disagree with Krashen's idea that we all learn language in roughly the same order, regardless of our L1... so, any specific help in designing these with regard to Chinese L1's would really be appreciated!

Thanks! :)

Sally Olsen
Posts: 1322
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

Post by Sally Olsen » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:05 pm

There are websites for IELTS instructors in how to mark the test and you might find them useful and find some tips for marking.

There are excellent books and websites for every step of the way. The main IELTS webiste is a start and the Australian sites are really good too.

If you give them tests every week from old books or older tests on the websites you will discover their weaknesses and can help them build their strengths.

For students in Mongolia, the listening was the hardest part. I had them look at the scripts as the tape read the story or play to get them used to the speed and the vocabulary. They use many words for the same idea so I got them each a Thesaurus and they memorized the vocabulary. They also read the questions and answers on the test sheet before the tape could ask them the question so they had an idea of the vocabulary they would be hearing in the question, particularly names which are usually English and so difficult for them. We took apart the scripts and showed how they were constructed with the main ideas usually being in the first and last sentence and the middle not always relevant and so on.

For the writing we followed the old 5 W's with "how" attached. Who, what, when, where, why and how do you feel about it. The last two are the most important in raising the level of writing to 6.0. I used to get them to write for 15 minutes every day using an old question from the IELTS and then would keyboard the answers, correcting grammar and spelling errors. I didn't put names on anything. I then had them mark each essay as if they were the markers, explaining what they found worthy in each essay. They soon discovered what made a good essay and it was in language that was closer to their own capabilities because it was the language of their fellow students. I gave them back their essay and the corrections so they could see what difficulties they had and they tried to analyze them over a period of two weeks to see what they were doing wrong or gave them to a partner who tried to recognize patterns and could tell them in their own language where they were going wrong.

Post Reply