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

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Post by EstefaniaNP » Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:52 am

We are three girls who are studing to become English teachers. And we have a question:

thank you.

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Tips for testing yourself

Post by call-centertrainer » Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:31 pm

Dear all,
I would say you all need to revise everything which you have taught yourself on the last day & test yourself at least once a week .

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Post by EH » Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:13 pm

You should test your students to determine whether or not they have understood your lessons. Therefore, tests should be given after each lesson (short term retention of info) and also at frequent intervals throughout the semester (longer term retention).

However, "tests" or assessments can be done in many ways--sometimes without the students even knowing they are being assessed. As long as you take notes on each student's performance and refer to these notes later to check progress, you have yourself an assessment. You don't have to give pencil-and-paper tests all the time; in fact, those may not be as effective as other forms of assessment that show whether students can use the info in real-life situations.

Good luck to you.

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Post by keith » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:44 pm

Remember that testing, or assessment, is for the benefit of both the teacher and the student.

I agree with EH. Students need a tangible way to measure their progress dring a course. Putting their English to use in real-life situations is perhaps the best way to achieve this - that is, after all, probably why they are studying. But this of course is not always possible on a day-to-day basis, so a "score" in a test can also give students that tangible measure of progress that they need.

Keith - TEFL jobs and TEFL courses

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Post by Marcethebest » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:40 pm

EstefaniaNP wrote:We are three girls who are studing to become English teachers. And we have a question:

thank you.
This is Marcela from Argentina. I agree with all the rest that posted an opinion here. I think you need to revise every new item or piece of grammar. I think you need to test (like formal testing, I mean) every one or two units, depending on its/their lengths.

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Assessment. all subjects

Post by Rawgreenpower » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:05 am

Iagree that it is key to let students know how they are doing continously and that is possible to ensure that they and you have a feel for their progress.

Some units allow for this - some are not well degigned - some should be more clear.

In the syllabus we have at the hak won in Korea there are two main elements per session for assessment.


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Post by Marcethebest » Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:42 am

It is true, it is also motivating for the students to see how they progress in their learning...

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Post by moonchild7903 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:32 pm

I think a more important but related question to "how often we should test" is "what kind of test" should be given. Are traditional paper-pencil tests more appropriate than authentic assessment or continuous assessment?

There are ways to evaluate or assess our students without testing them, but we must always consider what is practical for us and for our students. To assess pronunciation, for example, we could determine if our students have learned the lesson in class and through listening to them. In this case, a test isn't necessary and might not be appropriate.

Another question is that, are paper and pencil tests appropriate for form anc accuracy activities like grammar learning? Are there better and more communicatively oriented ways of conducting it?

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Post by Superhal » Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:42 am

It's completely up to you. There's a whole school of teacher training that uses daily testing in the "test-teach-test" format.

John Hamilton
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Post by John Hamilton » Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:55 pm

I totally agree with EH. Testing should be an integral part of every lesson but can be disguised and can even be a fun way to drive home a point of grammar.


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reply to how often to test students

Post by cinderella927 » Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:20 am

as we all know, testing is a good way for teachers to know how well the students learn. but we cannot forget the backwash of testing. it includes two aspects: helpful and harmful. just now we pointed out the good aspect of testing. what is the harmful backwash of testing? it will block the students to learn, if the frequency of testing is overwhelmed. the frequency of testing depends on what you want to get know about students. if you want to know the students' level , you just give them an entrance test. that's enough. if you just want to know how well the students learn in a semster, you can test them several times in a semester. in China, there is usually a mid-term test and a final test in a semester. it is enough, because students preparing for them needs a lot of time. if the tests are too much , it will not help students learn new knowledge. in conclusion, all tests aim to help the learning and teaching. if too much tests are harmful to teaching and learning, why should we have too much tests?

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Post by harmony » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:41 am


Lots of cool thoughts and questions.

To reply to cinderella's last post, I think what others like EH and moonchild have said about the kinds of tests is important to notice. In my experience, many forms of continuous assessment are entirely free of negative backwash.

The key element that creates negativity around testing and tests and causes them to interfere with learning is when they are used to make high stakes decisions about the future of a student, or if they are are used to place a student in a scale that compares him or her to others and declare that certain places on the scale are "better" than other places, especially if that scale allows for the possibility to "fail". Any time a human being's desire to accomplish something (go to a uni over seas, pass a grade, get a promotion, etc.) is limited by a device that another human being with more power has created (a test or a grading system), the seeds of conflict and strife have been amply sown. In such circumstances even "alternative", "continuous", "portfolio", and "communicative" assessments create problems. This is because conflict, strife, anxiety, and perceptions of injustice are not conductive to learning.

Lixia Wu
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Post by Lixia Wu » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:43 am

Hi, I’m a graduate student and I have studied the course of Language Testing and Assessment. According to my experience and what I’ve learnt, I think language testing should have some stages.
First, we can use the day-to-day testing, where we test students’ mastery of yesterday’s lesson. In this way we make students review lessons every day. This is an informal form of language testing. In this testing, there is no need for a written test paper. We just check something, and students can answer them by speaking out or writing them on any piece of paper.
In addition, we can use unit-based testing, where we measure students’ mastery of the unit. This can a formal form of testing and should have a written test paper.
Also, we can use term-mid testing. This is formal testing, and it is carried out in the middle of one semester. Students should go over what has been learnt in the first part of this semester and go on a systematic review.
Last, we should have term-end testing. This is also a formal form of testing, and it is taken at the end of one semester. Students are supposed to review all the knowledge of this course systematically.
In a word, I think there are four stages of language testing: day-to-day testing, unit-based testing, term-mid testing and term-end testing. In language testing, the first three can be called progress testing and the last one is achievement testing. However&#65292; teachers don’t need to follow all stages. They can use two or three of them according to the specific test context.

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Post by mamadepeter » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:39 pm

I think something very important is recycling what you did the previous,we don't necessarily call it testing but in a way that's what you are doing,test your students and see if they remember..not only from the previous lesson but also from long time ago,it can be done as a game or as a very serious test! :D

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Post by stef13 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:18 pm

I think you need to keep in mind that not all students do well on the same tests and therefore it does make sense to vary assessments by including not only typical paper and pencil tests but also observations and portfolios. Tests are not only for the benefit of the student but allow us as teachers to adjust our lessons so that all students can be successful.

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