Assessment and Evaluation in the ESL Classroom

Correcting and marking ESL students - Teaching English TESOLMarking is one of the most headache-inducing and complicated tasks that teachers are required to perform. Correcting students’ mistakes and giving students a mark are merely the tip of the iceberg when we talk about overall assessment and evaluation.

Assessment – Teaching English

When a teacher assesses the students’ progress, they first need to be aware of what the clear objectives of the lesson or lessons were. Then the teacher needs to come up with a method for checking that the students have achieved the proficiency level that was expected of them.

A good assessment should inform the teacher if the class was effective and how it can be improved. A good assessment should also be the base for  further planning since new concepts should not be taught until the students have achieved the objectives. For example, if the teacher taught the Present Perfect tense to express past actions that continue onto the present, one form of assessment would be to ask them to write down sentences or a paragraph that is autobiographical. Once this is done, the teacher should check the students’ work and look for evidence of learning in the correct use of the grammatical structure (have or has + main verb in past participle form) as well as in the context and meaning portrayed in their work.

Helping the students identify their mistakes and correct them is how assessment is an instrument that dictates next steps in the lessons to be taught.

It is important to remember that assessment does not require the teacher to give the students ‘a mark.’ It is far more important at this stage that students are alerted about their mistakes, are taught to find them themselves, and most importantly, they are taught to correct them and re-learn concepts that were missed the first time the topic was introduced.

Once this process has finished, the teacher can move on to the next step.

 

Evaluation – Teaching English

Evaluation is the task of assigning marks, grades or percentages that represent how well students have learned the skills or concepts taught. Evaluation can help the teacher look back in retrospect and decide whether the assessment of the students was accurate and whether the reinforcement of concepts was effective. More importantly, evaluating the students will give the students the feedback they need in regards to their learning so they can also decide whether their approach to learning the new language is effective or needs to be changed somehow.

It is very important to plan our lessons and classes carefully and think about when it is necessary to include assessments to help the students review topics, and when it is necessary to include evaluations in order to determine whether or not the objectives were met.

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Evaluating Speaking Skills

Writing Effective Tests for ESL Students

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