There are many ways to assess learners, for example, mini-tests or observations, in order to evaluate and monitor their understanding and progress. As well as checking learners’ competencies in some specific language or skill, evaluation allows us to guide learners on how to improve. Part of this is noting any errors they make in completing the assessments, especially errors in the language they use. However, focusing on errors too much can be de-motivating for learners. They may struggle to improve because they are anxious about making mistakes, especially with productive tasks. So how can we correct English errors and at the same time keep learners motivated to improve? Continue reading
What is Assessment for Learning?
Assessment for learning is a process where teachers seek and use evidence to decide where learners are in their learning, where they need to go, and how best to get there. The emphasis here is on using assessment practices to gather information, which can then be used to make judgements about teaching decisions and directly improve learning. The emphasis is on those assessments, which are used to directly help with learning. The term ‘assessment’ is being used in the general sense of ‘gathering information to make a judgement’. Much of this evidence will come from the daily classroom activities – an unexpected answer to a question may alert the teacher to a misunderstanding, puzzled looks on students’ faces may mean a need to clarify some instructions. Continue reading
When we create assessments, why is it important to make sure vocabulary is at a particular level?
When we create tests, we have to know that learners have sufficient vocabulary to engage with the reading and listening materials. If the level is too high, the texts will not be accessible and the test will be too difficult. Alternatively, if the vocabulary is too basic, the test may be too easy. Consequently, when we develop reading and listening materials for Oxford University Press, we have to make sure that the materials are challenging for test-takers, but not too difficult. To do this, we’ve created special word lists. Continue reading
Have you ever wanted to give your students stress-free practice taking online assessments, without the pressure of taking a real exam? Or have you ever dreamed of finding out where students need more practice, without having to spend hours marking their tests? Our Pretesting Research Partners work with us to trial our exam questions before they become part of our live tests – helping us to shape the future of English language assessment. And it’s completely free! Continue reading
Marina, a 27-year-old teacher from Zaragoza in Spain, loves learning English.
“I love English vocabulary. It’s both practical and beautiful, and it’s easier than other languages.”
For Marina, English presents the opportunity to communicate, not only with native English speakers but with people from across the globe who also have English as their second language. Continue reading