Presentation at the University of Oxford Exeter College
A bit about me
How assessment has changed and why
What this means
What can technology do to help ( lots of
examples of what I have done)
I have created a on-line version of this
presentation where all the videos work. It also
includes a link to a free book from the British
Part time lecturer at the University of Warwick
NILE associate trainer
Have regular columns in the ELT Professional and the
Founder of teacher training videos.com
-Times Higher Outstanding Initiative in ICT
-British Council ELTons Technology award
-University of Westminster ‘Excellence in teaching &
Free step by step videos to show teachers
how to use technology
Used by 350,000 teachers a year
Has a newsletter with 19,000 subscribers
An example video from the site ( video will
download before playing)
Based on Chapter in recent British Council Book
Innovations in learning technologies for ELT
Discrete language items
Reflected ideas about language
learning, about assessment etc
Learner is devoid from the
Narrow definition of what
More stakeholders than ever.
Parents, students, teachers,
Much wider view of what
language learning is
Learners have more say in the
process ( autonomy)
Totally different understanding
of what assessment is and can
It is about communication ( Hymes 1972)
It has a top down process as well as a bottom
Knowledge of grammar does not mean the
ability to use a language
My memories of foreign language learning
include long lists of vocabulary words
and multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and
discrete item tests.
Language learning needs to be grounded in
It can be a factor for motivation
Needs to reflect what is taught
Can have ‘Washback’ (Podromou 1995)
It is part of the learning process ( feedback)
Can be formative, summative
Most teachers no longer view assessment as something that
only occurs after the
fact. Rather they recognise the benefits of conducting
assessment before, during,
and following teaching and learning.
(Stoynoff, 2012: 527)
It can even be a source for learning (Tomlinson 1995)
Reading texts are often more interesting and
related to the student’s lives/interests
Skills are integrated
Writing is often better contextualised
Listening might be global, specific, include
different accents, do different things
More and more speaking exams ( in pairs,
Real skills….giving presentations, discussing,
How do we include a greater range of skills in
Particularly how can we get the students to
do more speaking work?
One possible answer is through technology?
Watch this demonstration of a technology and
think about how this could be used for
assessing your students formally/informally.
Discuss with a partner
What might you ask them to do?
How would feedback be provided?
Other factors to consider
Vocaroo ( downloads before playing)
We need to reflect our new knowledge of
language learning in the assessments we
create ( formal and informal)
We need to be aware of the wider implications
of any assessments we set
We may even want to involve students in the
process of assessment (
Students make regular recordings in
They peer assess/self evaluate their work
They can keep all their recordings in a blog
(downloads before playing)
They can choose a certain number of
recordings that they ask the teacher to
provide feedback on.
Present.Me allows students to upload
PowerPoint presentations and then add their
It includes a webcam
The tool is free and very easy to use.
The recordings can be shared or embedded.
Example of how the tool works
I have worked with this tool to develop
Here is an example of a student recording
What feedback could we provide to him?
Similar in some ways ot Present.Me
Can we used to get students speaking in
Allows students to upload video, pictures,
Then add their voice to them
Then share them over the internet or embed.
How it works ( downloads before playing)
Have done extensive work with the tool for
Influenced by work of David Kluge and Peter
Schneider (on line references)
Set up clear activities
Make them regular
Have some sort of peer/self evaluation of the
recordings ( pair students)
Offer teacher intervention periodically
Students choose the recordings for formal
Work with my student Lu Lian showed that
regular recordings resulted in improved fluency
Use blogs as a key assessment tool
Add up digital content they have created
Build an audience for their blogs
Be creative in the design
Use social networks to share
Easy for other stakeholders to view
Wide range of resources ( writing, reading,
videos, audio, discussions)
Easy to update and change
Continue after the course
Washback ( Podromou 1995)
Evidence of digital literacy ( Tomlinson 1995)
21st Century Skills
Restrict to one type of media ( for example
only write once a week)
Use as repository for other content ( audio
recordings, video etc)
Use in a much wider context to assess a
whole range of skills ( reading, writing,
speaking, vocabulary , pronunciation etc)
(Cummins, P and Davesne, C 2009)
Example ( downloads before playing)
How to set up a blog ( downloads before
ICT can broaden the types of assessments we
They can engage students
Provide them with 21st Century Skills
Can provide information to a range of
Can cover the skills/competences students
need to provide evidence of language ability.
Are not that difficult to set up
Kluge, D. Boosting Speaking Fluency through
Partner Taping ITESLJ-available at
Shneider P. Using Partner taping ITESLJ-available
Choa, C-C (1999) ‘Theory and Research: New Emphases of Assessment in the Language
Learning Classroom’, in Egbert, J and Hanson-Smith, E (eds) (1999) CALL Environments
Research, Practice and Critical Issues. Alexandria, Va.: TESOL.
Cummins, P and Davesne, C (2009) Using Electronic Portfolios for Second Language Ass
Hymes, DH (1972) ‘On communicative competence’, in Pride, JB and Holmes, J (eds)
(1972) Sociolinguistics, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972.essment. Modern Language
Journal 93: 848–867
Lam, R and Lee, I (2010) Balancing the dual functions of portfolio assessment.
English Language Teaching Journal 64/1: 54–64
Prodromou, L (1995) The backwash effect: from testing to teaching. English Language
Teaching Journal 49/1: 13–25.
Stoynoff, S (2012) Looking backward and forward at classroom-based language
assessment. English Language Teaching Journal 66/4: 523–532.
Tomlinson, B (1995) Testing to learn: a personal view of language testing.
English Language Teaching Journal 59/1: 39–46.
How to use Vocaroo
How to use Present.Me
How to use Blogger
How to use myBrainShark
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