Silvia Minardi The Common European Framework for Languages: from theory to practice Grenoble 24/28 August 2011 Assessment within the Common European Framework
What’s the impact of the CEFR on (language learning, teaching and) assessment?
What’s the impact of the CEFR on (language learning, teaching and) assessment? rationale
D.Coste (2007), “in various settings and on various levels of discourse... people who talk about the Framework are actually referring only to its scales of proficiency and their descriptors.” David Little, Trinity College Dublin (2010) “the CEFR remains a closed book to the great majority of language teachers”
“ Le fait que les nouveaux programmes d’enseignement des langues vivantes s’appuient sur le Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues ouvre de nouvelles perspectives dans le domaine de l’évaluation en langue. Mais l’utilisation de ce nouvel outil implique que les enseignants soient très rigoureusement formés aux trois volets complémentaires qui le composent : apprendre, enseigner, évaluer.” cf. Rapport de l’ Inspection générale de l’éducation nationale n 009␣janvier 2007 “ L’évaluation en langue vivante : état des lieux et perspectives d’évolution” Rapport à monsieur le ministre de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche
language learning “ Language use , embracing language learning, comprises the actions performed by persons who as individuals and as social agents develop a range of competences , both general and in particular communicative language competences . They draw on the competences at their disposal in various contexts under various conditions and under various constraints to engage in language activities involving language processes to produce and/or receive texts in relation to themes in specific domains , activating those strategies which seem most appropriate for carrying out the tasks to be accomplished. The monitoring of these actions by the participants leads to the reinforcement or modification of their competences.” CEFR, pg 9. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) sets out to describe “in a comprehensive way what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively” (Council of Europe 2001: 1). in an action-oriented approach
Competences - general - communicative language Contexts <ul><li>Conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Constraints </li></ul>Activities Strategies Texts <ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Domains </li></ul>Tasks language use DIMENSIONS
authentic assessment “ ...all assessment is a form of evaluation, but in a language programme a number of things are evaluated other than learner proficiency ”, as the action-based approach “also takes into account the cognitive, emotional and volitional resources and the full range of abilities specific to and applied by the individual as a social agent”. (CEFR: 9)
authentic assessment Authentic assessment aims to evaluate students' abilities in 'real-world' contexts. In other words, students learn how to apply their skills to authentic tasks and projects . Authentic assessments are often based on performance , requiring students to use their knowledge in a context .
tasks <ul><li>“ any purposeful action considered by an individual as necessary in order to achieve a given result in the context of a problem to be solved, an obligation to fulfil or an objective to be achieved ” (CEFR 2.1). </li></ul>
examples Learners produce/perform/present their tasks e.g : • Producing a poster • Performing a role-play • Having a debate • Producing a leaflet • Giving a presentation “ Make a presentation on a poster or on Powerpoint showing you as a baby. Give the dates and places and show other important events that happened in the world on the same day. Do the commentary in front of the class”. Cf. SHORTCUTS , Didier
<ul><li>Performance: students should actually have to produce language. </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction-based: there will be actual ``face-to-face oral interaction which involves not only the modification of expression and content but also an amalgam of receptive and productive skills'' (Morrow, 1979, p. 149). </li></ul><ul><li>Unpredictability: language use in real-time interaction is unpredictable . </li></ul>TASKS – key components (1)
<ul><li>4. Purpose: the test-taker must be able to recognise communicative purpose and be able to respond appropriately . </li></ul><ul><li>5. Tasks are scored on real-life outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>6. behaviour-based : the only real criterion of success is the behavioural outcome, or whether the learner was able to achieve the intended communicative effect </li></ul>TASKS – key components (2)
rubrics <ul><li>Oral presentation rubric </li></ul>Language use Use of communication aids Non verbal language Contents Organisation unaccceptable basic proficient distinguished criteria
-Student uses superfluous graphics, no graphics, or graphics that are so poorly prepared that they detract from the presentation. -Font is too small to be easily seen <ul><li>- Occasional use of graphics that rarely support presentation; visual aids were not clear </li></ul><ul><li>Font is too small to be easily seen. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication aids are poorly prepared or used inappropriately. Too much information is included. Unimportant material is highlighted. </li></ul>-While graphics relate and aid presentation, media are not as varied and not as well connected to presentation -Font size is appropriate for reading. -Appropriate information is prepared. Some material is not supported by visual aids. -Graphics are designed reinforce presentation and maximize audience understanding; use of media is varied and appropriate with media not being added simply for the sake of use Visual aids were colorful and large enough to be seen by all even by those in back of the class -Media are prepared in such a way that main points stand out. unacceptable basic proficient distinguished Use of communication aids
LEARNING COMMUNICATION REFLECTION ON and EVALUATION of both learning and communication
<ul><li>“ Apart from marking homework and occasional or regular short achievement tests to reinforce learning, continuous assessment may take the form of checklists/grids completed by teachers and/or learners, assessment in a series of focused tasks, formal assessment of coursework, and/or the establishment of a portfolio of samples of work, possibly in differing stages of drafting, and/or at different stages in the course.” (CEFR: 185) </li></ul>continuous long-term assessment
European Language Portfolio <ul><li>What the ELP can do </li></ul><ul><li>The ELP supports the reflective cycle of planning, implementing and evaluating learning </li></ul><ul><li>It makes language learners aware of their evolving plurilingual/pluricultural identity </li></ul><ul><li>It provides practical evidence that complements the more abstract evidence of exam grades and certificates </li></ul>
assessment for learning “ In approaches to assessment, two central tendencies emerge which are relevant to language as subject. One places emphasis on the assessment of learning where reliable, objective measures are a high priority. The focus here is on making summative judgements which in practice is likely to involve more formal examinations and tests with marks schemes to ensure that the process is sound. An alternative approach is to change the emphasis from assessment of learning to assessment for learning , implying a more formative approach where there is much more emphasis on feedback to improve performance. The approach here might be through course work and portfolio assessment in which diverse information can be gathered which reflects the true broad nature of the subject. “ FLEMING, Council of Europe, Languages of Schooling
assessment for learning “ The strength of formative assessment is that it aims to improve learning. The weakness of formative assessment is inherent in the metaphor of feedback”.
assessment for learning Feedback only works if the recipient is in a position (a) to notice , i.e. is attentive, motivated and familiar with the form in which the information is coming, (b) to receive , i.e. is not swamped with information, has a way of recording, organising and personalising it; (c) to interpret , i.e. has sufficient pre-knowledge and awareness to understand the point at issue, and not to take counterproductive action and (d) to integrate the information, i.e. has the time, orientation and relevant resources to reflect on, integrate and so remember the new information. This implies self-direction, which implies training towards self-direction, monitoring one’s own learning, and developing ways of acting on feedback .” (Council of Europe 2001: 186)
assessment for learning <ul><li>KEY FACTORS </li></ul><ul><li>the provision of effective feedback to learners; </li></ul><ul><li>the active involvement of learners in their own learning; </li></ul><ul><li>adjusting teaching to take account of the results of assessment; </li></ul><ul><li>a recognition of the influence assessment has on the motivation and self-esteem of learners, both of which are crucial influences on learning; </li></ul><ul><li>the need for learners to be able to assess themselves and understand how to improve </li></ul>
How can the CEFR help us? <ul><li>COMPETENCES </li></ul><ul><li>Scales: a global scale + 54 sub-scales lists of criteria to assess each component </li></ul>
What’s missing? <ul><li>no suggestions on how to select criteria </li></ul><ul><li>the cultural component </li></ul><ul><li>suggestions on how to assess an “action oriented task” </li></ul>