2010 ELTS. Building a Culture of Assessment for Learning In the English Language Classroom. Karen Yager Knox Grammar & University of NSW. firstname.lastname@example.org. “We have to know where we want to end up before we start out – and plan how to get there …” (1999, Tomlinson). Desired Outcomes.
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Building a Culture of Assessment for Learning In the English Language Classroom
Knox Grammar & University of NSW
“We have to know where we want to end up before we start out – and plan how to get there …”
“Learners are at the center of the teaching-learning process.”
‘There is a natural tendency for both teachers and students to tailor their classroom activities to the demands of the test, especially when the test is very important to the future of the students, and pass rates are used as a measure of teacher success’ (Buck 1988).
‘Every act of assessment gives a message to students about what they should be learning and how they should go about it’ (Boud, 1998).
Kwek, Albright and Kramer-Dahl (2007) observed that when the English language syllabus is implemented in Singapore’s classrooms it applies “a narrow range of textual forms and organizational ‘rules’ that students are asked to reproduce.”
How would a language classroom operate with a culture of assessment for learning?
When pupils truly understand, they can:
Fluency: generating many ideas
Flexibility: shifting perspective easily
Originality: conceiving something new
Elaboration: building on other ideas
Evaluation: critical reflection
Concept + Key Question or Essential Learning Statement
Overarching idea of the unit grounded in the syllabus
Key Ideas + Question
What students will learn by the end of the unit
Key Ideas + Question
Reflect intent of the outcomes and concept
Key Ideas + Question
Grounded in the syllabus
Assessment for, of, as and through learning
(Deep understanding, Problematic knowledge, Higher-order thinking, Explicit quality criteria)
Demonstration of key learning ideas
Pre-testing/Pre-assessment (Background knowledge - connections to prior learning)
Brainstorming, Graphic organisers – KWL, mind mapping, Y chart, Lotus diagram. Quiz
Explicit Literacy & Numeracy Strategies
Explicit / Systematic
Building the Field
Connected & Scaffolded
Scaffolds / Models – annotated
Building the field
Explicit, systematic & balanced
Intonation and pace
Cyber Grammar: http://www.cybergrammar.co.uk/index.php
Pre-testing for learning:
Formative & Summative Assessment
Severn Suzuki’s speech delivered at UN Earth Summit 1992 focusing on the ideas and the purpose of the speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsDliXzyAY
EDF Energy Advertisements: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx3Y5RV9YR4&feature=related ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7JMBa6h7Eo&feature=related
Al Gore’s speech to Smith School World Forum on Climate Change: http://oxforddigital.tv/streaming/algore0709.php
“Assessment should be first and foremost for the learner’s sake, designed and implemented to provide useful feedback to the learner on worthy tasks to make improved performance and ultimate mastery more likely” (Wiggins, 2006).
(Dinham, Feedback on Feedback, 2008)
Feedback directed to the ‘self’ (e.g.: “You are a great student”). ‘Rarely does it enhance achievement or learning’.
Increases the ability to accommodate feedback and create internal feedback...
‘Feedback at this process level appears to be more effective than at the task level for enhancing deeper learning’
‘Having correct information is a pedestal on which processing and self-regulation can be effectively built.’
Most feedback remains task focused
Effective feedback answers three questions:
(Hattie & Timperely, 2009)
“It is about learning to learn, about becoming independent thinkers and learners. It is about problem solving, team-work, knowledge of the world, adaptability, and comfort in a global system of technologies, conflict and complexity. It is about the joy of learning and the pleasure of productivity of using one’s learning in all facets of work and life pursuits” (2006, Fullan, Hill and Crevola, Breakthrough).