Testing ESL Students: Preparing Grammar and Vocabulary Tests

TEFL / TESOL testing grammar and covabulary tips for testing ESL studentsThis TESOL / TEFL article gives valuable advice for the different kinds of grammar and vocabulary tests that ESL teachers must administer to their students and provides practical tips on how to prepare students for the test in a Communicative Class.

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Testing Grammar

When evaluating students’ knowledge of grammar it is very important to determine whether each exercise is evaluating the mechanics part of the grammar or the meaning. In other words, it is important to determine whether the exercise is checking the students’ knowledge of the structure versus the knowledge of the function this structure fulfills in context.

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Dictogloss Examined

Dictogloss teaching ESLDictogloss is an adaptation to the traditional practice of giving students a dictation as a form of listening and combined writing practice or a form of assessment. It is an activity that can integrate listening, speaking , and writing skills and enables students to develop coping strategies that help them to become more fluent listeners. A dictogloss can also be used to teach grammar communicatively.

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Assessing Listening Skills and Spelling with Dictation

Dictation Teaching ESLBottom-up Processing – Dictation in TESOL

For those of us who have studied or taught in traditional language learning classrooms, we are likely familiar with dictation as a form of assessment.  For lower levels, word lists are often used. The teacher simply reads out a list of pre-taught terms, and students copy down what they hear and have memorized. Correction focuses on spelling of the new terms and possibly identifying the part of speech.   This is a bottom-up type of processing whereby students are listening for single morphemes and syllables, and copying out the full words they hear.

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Writing Effective Tests for ESL Students

Testing ESL students TESOLOne of the most challenging tasks that ESL teachers need to fulfill is evaluating their students. After many years in the profession, it is sometimes a little easier to gauge whether students are improving while taking the class. However, this ballpark impression, which can sometimes be based on experience and instinct, is very difficult to quantify and prove. Furthermore, it is far from accurate. Thus, ESL teachers must learn and develop a trustworthy method of evaluating their students in order to provide evidence of their students’ progress and improvement.

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Evaluating Speaking Skills

Evaluating speaking skills - TESOL markingGiving students a mark for their oral work is one of the hardest jobs a teacher needs to fulfill. Listening for content as well as the delivery of the language is a challenge in and of itself. Add having to evaluate these aspects of a students’ speech and the task becomes even harder. This article will give you some recommendations for evaluating your students’ speaking skills. A sample rubric is included at the end of the article for you to use.

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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.

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