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Assessing Grammar. Christine Alice Stacey Jenny Ann. Test Evaluation. Summary Teaching Evaluation of an Existing Test. Five characteristics to measure communicative grammar. The test must provide more context than only a single sentence.

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assessing grammar

Assessing Grammar






test evaluation
Test Evaluation
  • Summary Teaching
  • Evaluation of an Existing Test
five characteristics to measure communicative grammar
Five characteristics to measure communicative grammar
  • The test must provide more context than only a single sentence.
  • The test taker should understand what the communicative purpose of the task is.
  • He or she should also know who the intended audience is.
  • He or she must have to focus on meaning and not form to answer correctly.
  • Recognize is not sufficient. The test taker must be able “to produce grammatical responses.”

By: P.R. Dickins

  • Have the test taker say or write something (5) of discourse length (1) in order to perform some communicative task (2) for a known audience (3), and what is said or written must make sense (4).
  • Assessing grammar can only be tested as part of a test of writing or speaking?
important principle what are we trying to measure
Important Principle: What are we trying to Measure?

“English grammar is chiefly a system of syntax that decides the order and patterns in which words are arranged into sentences.”– Close 1982

  • Separated but closely related to assessing writing and assessing speaking.
    • Oral performance
    • Writing samples
      • Accuracy and fluency
      • Count the errors and rate their severity
  • Focus on Grammar only
    • ‘Meaning’ is a separated matter
    • Integrated tests
    • Discrete point tests
traditional paper and pencil test
Traditional Paper and Pencil Test
  • CRT: Classroom tests
  • Types of Questions:
    • Complete sentences
    • Sentence combining
    • Paragraph editing
    • Correct topic sentence task
    • Multiple Choice
    • Fill in the blank
    • True/False
    • Combination
alternative assessment
Alternative Assessment
  • Games
  • Class observation
  • Online activities
  • Portfolio
  • Design to restrict the language need
  • Usually these games are defined by their focus on
    • The Use of Language
    • Limited options for communication
    • Accuracy
split sentences
Split Sentences
  • Write out some sentences, and then cut each sentence in half. Hand out these pieces to the students, and ask them to find the matching half among the other students.
  • Students’ abilities in combing sentences
  • Grammar knowledge to all forms of the sentences
If you eat that

If you touch the dog

If you steal my boyfriend

If you go out now

If you don’t leave

If you don’t book a ticket

you’ll be sick

it’ll bite you

I’ll never speak to you again

you’ll get soaked

I’ll call the police

you’ll be lucky to get a seat

sentences from pictures
Sentences from pictures
  • Hand out a sheet of pictures. Ask students to come out sentences from the pictures. Or ask students to tell a stories.
  • Enough grammar knowledge to make sentences by students.
  • Accuracy
memory test
Memory Test
  • Give limited time for students to see the picture. Ask them to describe the picture without seeing it.
  • Testing students’ ability of making sentences.(enough grammar knowledge)
  • Accuracy
  • The transformation of students’ sentences
picture dictation
Picture Dictation
  • A student try to describe the picture to other students who haven’t seen it.
  • Testing if a student can make sentences which can help him/her communicate well.
  • Accuracy
strip story
Strip Story
  • Make students into groups and assign them a text from a strip story. Ask them to find the order and resolve the problem from the story.
  • See if students can find the time order from the tenses of the sentences.
  • Accuracy
miming an action
Miming an action
  • Ask students to role play in a limited situation.
  • Through acting, it can test students’ ability of thinking of lines. (which may contains different tenses.)
  • Accuracy
growing stories
Growing Stories
  • Story-building activities
  • Students’ ability of making sentences with different tenses
  • Turn what have taught in class into a questionnaire. Get students to survey each other. (does not contain fully-written-out questions.)
  • It can see if students’ totally understand what have learned in class. Also it can see if students’ can use it well.
classroom observation
Classroom Observation
  • Classroom activities
  • Classroom communication: Elicited dialogues
  • Written exercise
online activities
Online Activities
  • In multimedia teaching times, teachers can use Internet as a way of assessing students’ ability of grammar
  • On-line quizzes help students to have more chances of practices
  • On-line tests also provide clear explanation after finishing the quizzes
  • Students can surf on these grammar website to do practice
  • Teachers can ask students to do these exercise and to keep record for themselves. Finally report back for one of the reference of assessment
online activity websites
Online activity : websites
  • Ex1. Irregular verbs quiz
  • Grammar Assessment
  • Self-study grammar quizzes
  • ESL Quizzes Center
  • Definition:a purposeful collection of student work that tells the viewer about the student
  • Works should be organized by chronological order and category– teacher can evaluate the child’s achievements
  • Works including:

1. Traditional paper and pencil tests

2. Classroom observation

3. Online activities

4. Written assignments

written assignments
Written assignments
  • Give students some assignments to practice at home
  • Ask students using learned grammar in class to write journal
  • Term paper throughout one semester including several drafts– we can see student’s progress in grammar.
advantages of portfolio
Advantages of portfolio
  • Why portfolio is the best way to assess?
  • Strengthening students’ learning
  • Enhancing the teacher’s role
  • Improving processes
test evaluation of an existing test
Test Evaluation of An Existing Test
  • Section 2 of the Computer-Based Test of TOEFL
    • General Background Information
    • Title: Section 2 of TOEFL-Structure and Written Expression
    • Author: Education Testing Service (ETS)
test evaluation of an existing test31
Test Evaluation of An Existing Test

3. Purpose of decision :

Section 2 measures the ability to recognize language that is appropriate for standard written English.

test evaluation of an existing test32
Test Evaluation of An Existing Test

4. Date of Application:

a. 1962, the formation of a National Council on the TOEFL

b. July 1998 (Most parts of the world)

c. October 2000 (Asia, including Taiwan)

practical orientation
Practical Orientation
  • Ease of administration:
    • Computers needed
    • Convenience
  • Price: expensive ($130)
  • Quality of items: clarity
practical orientation34
Practical Orientation
  • Ease of scoring:
    • Photo score reporting
    • Computerized scoring (0~30)
    • Cumulative scoring
  • Ease of interpretation: transmission speed.
practical orientation35
Practical Orientation
  • Test construction:
    • Computer-adaptive Testing
    • Complete an incomplete sentence
    • Identify one unacceptable answer form four underlined words.
  • Timing: 20-25 questions/ 15-20 minutes (including “pretest questions”)

“Description of the Computer-Based TOEFL Test”

analysis of toefl grammar test
Analysis of TOEFL Grammar Test
  • 8 sentence patterns
  • Basic Sentence & Compound Sentence
  • Adjective Clauses
  • Participial Phrases
  • Appositive
  • Noun Clauses
  • Adverbs Clauses
  • Prepositional Phrases
  • Expletives

方有毅 托福文法速成 來欣留學英語中心

analysis of toefl grammar test38
15 Answering Techniques

Word Form ………....20 %

Word Choice ……....14 %

Verbs ………………....11 %

Parallelism ………......9 %

Pronouns ……………...7 %

Singular/Plural Nouns …...……...……..6 %

Verbal (Infinitives, Gerunds, and Participles) ……..…...6 %

Prepositions ……..…..6%

Articles ……………………….5 %

Comparatives and

Superlative sentence……4 %

Conjunctions ……………… 4 %

Redundancy………………….1 %

Negative Words ……………2 %

Word Order ………………….4 %

Misplaced Modifiers ….…..1 %

Total ……………………….100 %

方有毅 托福文法速成 來欣留學英語中心

Analysis of TOEFL Grammar Test
analysis of toefl grammar test39
Analysis of TOEFL Grammar Test
  • Reliabilities: describes the tendency of a set of scores to be ordered identically on two or more tests, and it can be estimated by a variety of statistical procedures.

“Description of the Computer-Based TOEFL Test”

analysis of toefl grammar test40
Analysis of TOEFL Grammar Test
  • Validity
  • ------pure lead, the lead ore is mined, then melted, and finally refined.

(A) Obtaining (B) Being Obtained

(C) To obtain (D) It is obtained

  • Louisa May Alcott is mainly noted for her very popular


novel, Little Women, whom she published in 1868.


  • Some hangars, buildings used to hold large aircraft, are


very tall that rain occasionally falls from clouds that form


along the ceilings. (聶群 精修文法 來欣留學英語中心)


analysis of toefl grammar test41

Accurate and objective scores

Careful monitoring of test

Commitment to international education

Expert advisory committees

Highly skilled test developers

Longstanding reliability and consistency

Ongoing test improvements

Standardized delivery procedures

“Description of the Computer-Based TOEFL Test”

Analysis of TOEFL Grammar Test
analysis of toefl grammar test42
Analysis of TOEFL Grammar Test
  • Conclusion
  • No other test in the world is as reliable as a standard for measuring a nonnative speaker’s ability to use English at the university level.

“Description of the Computer-Based TOEFL Test”