The following assessment plan is for a conversational English language course. The purpose of this assessment plan is to evaluate Intermediate Novice Level English Language Learners. Learning Outcome:
The student will demonstrate fluency in English language.
The student can identify word definitions and phrases.
The student utilizes appropriate word choices and idioms.
The student displays an effort to pronounce words and letters correctly.
Towards the middle to the end of the semester students in English Language class should be able to have the ability to respond and answer questions in English with an improved level of fluency. They should have a better understanding of word and idiom usage. Pronunciation is still a great concern at this level also. This assessment plan gives students the opportunity to recall and apply everything that has been used throughout the semester. In countries where English is not widely spoken this is a fun and effective tool to encourage their newly acquired skills. First the instructor will create cards with a topic or subject listed and then a specific command. For example, “Restaurant” and “give the waiter your order”. The second card should also have the same topic as the first; however, a different command will be given. For example, “Restaurant” and “take customer’s order”.
It is important to make sure at least two cards are created that related to the same topic. In some situations such as introductions, at least 3 cards will be needed. This should be repeated until most or all topics covered over the course are incorporated. At the beginning of class, explain to the students that they will be participating in a classroom activity that will allow them to utilize their language skills. Explain that each will be given or allowed to choose a card. Then they will be asked to read each card allowed after which they should imagine a real life situation related to the topic and should incorporate the command stated. Encourage students to utilize as much of their knowledge of English as possible and feel free to converse freely with their partners. It may be useful in this role playing exercise for the teacher to be one of the first participants so students will get a better understanding of the instructions. Also, some topics may need further explanation from instructor and further input from fellow students should be allowed briefly. During class, the cards will be passed out to students in pairs. The distribution of cards to paired students can be randomly done or the teacher may wish to choose pairs or allow students to do so. Also, students may be given a time period to discuss planned conversation with each other. However, a better assessment of students’ English conversational skills would be seen without time to practice. Also, the spontaneity will surely lead to a memorable class.
Fluency•Student is able to respond without hesitancy to questions and responses of partner. •Student is able to respond with some hesitancy to questions and responses. •Student is very slow to respond to questions and responses of partner. Word Usage•Student utilizes phrases and idioms appropriately. •Responses to others are appropriate.
•May seek assistance once or twice for better understanding. •Student utilizes phrases or idioms •Responses to other are mostly appropriate.
•Seeks assistance a few times to understand meanings.•Student may utilizes some phrases or idioms •Responses are largely inappropriate or may not be able to respond. •Seeks assistance several times throughout activity.
Pronunciation•One or two errors are made in pronouncing words or letters. •There is no need for word repetition.•Few errors are made in pronouncing words and letters. •There is little need for word repetition. •Several words are made in pronouncing words and letters. •Constant repetition of words is needed for understanding.
•Grammatical errors will not be assessed in this assessment. •Scores will not include body language or other social skills. Time
•There will be little time for preparation prior to activity to eliminate testing errors associated with collaboration. •Students will be allowed to speak as long as necessary to allow for natural speech and conversational patterns to occur. Prior Knowledge
•Previously discussed topics and vocabulary will be assessed. Other people
•During the activity, students will be allowed to ask teacher or peers for further explanation of word meanings to ensure flow of the conversation. http://wp.me/p2J9PX-q
Most language programs typically focus on acquiring reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. When students are fully immersed in a language, listening and speaking skills can be acquired relatively quickly; reading and writing may be slower to progress. However, language learners who are not immerses in another language need to have opportunities to develop all these skills. Reading and writing skills can be developed individually but listening and speaking skills need group settings to realize see full potential. Due to this, I chose to focus on a group activity or performance-based assessment that would encourage students to utilize their speaking and listening skills.
When thinking about speaking and listening, you can see that a number of different elements come into play. An individual will need to recall vocabulary, make inferences and deductions, transfer knowledge to produce sentences or phrases, etc. I’ve simply chosen to narrow the performance-based assessment of speaking and listening down to the areas of comprehension, pronunciation, and word usage. Comprehension and word usage can be assessed in a wide variety of methods, however is difficult to assess pronunciation without listening to a student. It is possible through technology (i.e. sound recordings of students) for instructors to measure this without being present. However, this is for a conversational course and in order to truly judge their needs to be conversation between students and teachers.
Students may particular enjoy this assessment since it is informal and game-like in format. The assessment is focused on the course vocabulary and content. Aligning the assessment with its content will only increase the validity of the assessment. Students will not be caught off guard and there will be no need to explain or teach new vocabulary.
The need for reading and writing skills has been eliminated as well. In part, this is why I chose to restrict student collaboration with one another prior to activity. This will also eliminate some error that comes with collaboration. Stronger students will no doubt assist the weaker one and the issue of rote memorization increases.
Due to the level of the learners, grammar errors will largely be overlooked and few corrections will be made in this assessment. This will encourage students to speak more freely and lend to a relaxed atmosphere. Since students will be asked to speak in front of the class, some students may feel nervous to do so. Constant corrections will only increase this and may affect their performance negatively. Also, if class size is large, time limits may need to be imposed. Otherwise, no time limits are necessary and role playing conversation between students should be allowed to progress as long as necessary.