Professor M.E.d Yohana Aguirre Álvarez<br />http://www.yohanaaguirre.blogspot.com/<br />Assessing English Language Learners<br />
Sometimes the terms Evaluation, Assessment and Testing are indistinctly used when referring to the progress the students have made in their educational process.<br />About English language teaching-learning process, and specially in Costa Rican public schools, the aspect turns particular since it is evaluated differently from the rest of the subjects offered; starting from the point that is not just a subject, it’s a language.<br />
Then, the purpose is to help English language teachers to have a more comprehensive overview of what must be evaluated in the education process and how.<br />In this way, it’s relevant to understand all the terminology related to evaluation and what can be implemented to improve the evaluation process<br />
What is the meaning of evaluation assessment, and testing? <br />Evaluationrefers to the whole process of teaching-learning. It involves course syllabus, activities and testing. Assessment refers to the possible activities and instruments that a teacher selects in order to check the progress of the students in the learning process. Finally, testing is a category of the assessment and it’s “a procedure” to obtain measurable results from the teaching-learning process. <br />
Assessment tasks are designed for that purpose, and the teacher must select the ones that best fulfills the needs according to the context: placement, aptitude, diagnostic, progress, achievement and proficiency tests are the most common categories. However, there are other categorizations such as: objective versus subjective tests, Criterion-Referenced versus Standardized tests, Summative versus formative, High stakes versus low stakes tests<br />
There are nine principles that heads good test design: usefulness (intended use), validity (content, construct and face), reliability (application time-score relation), practicality, wash back (effect of testing), Authenticity, Transparency (accurate info) and Security.<br />
The process of developing assessment starts with planning, development, administration, analysis, feedback and reflection. It is very important to work in the specifications and students’ preparation<br />
The techniques for testing includes the type of items that are going to be taken in to account when designing a test. It also involves common violations teachers do: grammar mistakes, ambiguous answers and double answer key are very common.<br />
Information taken from <br />Assessing English Langue Learners, a practical guide to. Coombe Christine, Folse; Keith, Hubley Nancy<br />
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