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Training teachers to use the European Language Portfolio Project C6 of the ECML 2nd medium-term programme (ELP_TT)
Linking assessment to the ELP/CEFR Hans-Peter Hodel
Plan • Why this topic? • Approach: CEFR descriptors as assessment resources • 2 types of specification (general/detailed) • 2 types of assessment (external or self-assessment/interpretation of performance in terms of level) • Comments/workshops
Why this topic? • ELP: self-assessment • ELP and institutions: assessment • Swiss ELP: role of final exams, internal and external qualifications (interpreting performance) • ELP: designing exams (specify) How to reconcile transparency, comparability and feasibility?
Approach: descriptors • Activities and skills descriptors help to answer the questions: 1) What is assessed? 2) How is performance interpreted? • 1) = specification of the content of tests and exams in terms of objectives 2) = criteria to determine whether the objectives have been met
General specification • Descriptors of communicative activities (ELP/CEFR) + competence scales (ELP/CEFR) • Validity of tests < > descriptors covering a sample of representative types of speech • Example
Detailed specification • Method 1 (principal): descriptors of communicative activities (ELP/CEFR) + competence scales (ELP/CEFR) • Method 2 (supplementary): break down the descriptor (< sentences, implicit components) • Detailed specification in reception (methods 1 and 2) >> development of items
Performance interpretation • External assessment/self-assessment of tasks/authentic activities << activity descriptors • Assess/mark performance in terms of skill level << descriptors of competences
Assessment of knowledge (achievement test) Assessment of capacity (proficiency test) Comments • Clarity • Close to the learner
Development of part of two assessment tests of oral expression (adjacent levels, A2 and B1) One part = one single objective per level – determined in advance and marked "workshop 1" on the checklist (photocopy) Development = detailed specification of the content according to methods 1 and 2, + assessment concept of the task (situation, plan, interlocutors) Material: ELP checklist, assessment scale for the oral (CEFR competence scales) Organisation: group divided into two (A2/B1), each sub-group working in pairs Workshop 1 – specification
Assessment (marking) of performance (oral production and interaction) in terms of levels recorded on video Review of the oral assessment scale and the classification scale In plenary: viewing of the video, assessment (production phase, then interaction) and rapid comparison of results In groups: discussion of findings, assessment strategies adopted, skills required and assessment techniques and tools presented Points for discussion: specification and assessment – particularly of oral performance – as training modules, having regard to the training context: current and future specification and assessment practices for oral production – any issues arising to be noted on flip charts Workshop 2 – marking
(general specification)Written production B2 – sample • Can write summaries of articles on topics of general interest • Can discuss a topic in a composition or “letter to the editor”, giving reasons for or against a specific point of view • Can write a short review of a film or book • Can express in a personal letter different feelings and attitudes and can report the news of the day making clear what in my opinion are the important aspects of an event
(detailed specification)Written production B2 – sample • Can write summaries of articles on topics of general interest, following standard layout and paragraphing conventions (< orthographic control B2)
(detailed specification)Written production B2 – sample • Theme relatedto the author's particular area or more general subjects, in the form of an essay or reader's letter presenting arguments for and against a point of view, developing and arguing important points with the aid of significant details and examples(< Extent of vocabulary B2; development of themes B2)
(detailed specification)Written production B2 – sample • Can write a short review of a film or a book, varying formulation to avoid frequent repetition and using complex sentences (< vocabulary range B2; general linguistic range B2)
Deconstruction of an activity descriptor • Descriptor: “I can give and request personal information” • Deconstruction: “I can introduce myself; I can say where I live: I can say my address (in the target language); I can say how old I am, etc.; I can ask someone what their name is; I can ask someone where they live; I can ask someone how old they are, etc.” (CEFR 188.8.131.52)
Detailed specification (method 1 >> Development of items I) Jeans –(from campus 2 (2002): French method. International key) The story begins in California in 1848, during the gold rush. A prospector needed trousers that stood up to water erosion. A young Bavarian, Oscar Levi-Strauss made him a pair of trousers from serge, which he had bought in Nîmes to manufacture .... tents. In 1873, Levi-Strauss went into partnership with a Nevada tailor called Jacob Davis. Together, they gradually improved their trousers. But it was in the early 1920s that blue jeans took their name – "blue" because of their new colour, since Nîmes serge, or denim, which was ochre in colour, was now dyed indigo blue, and "jeans" after the Italian port of Genoa, because the trousers of Oscar Levi-Strauss were very like those worn by 16th century Genoese sailors. Under their new name, blue jeans were ready for a new career. Hitherto they had been restricted to western cowboys, workers and loggers, but they were now to be transformed into leisurewear. The 1929 crash forced the American bourgeoisie to economise. They no longer spent their vacations in Europe but on western ranches. There they discovered blue jeans and adopted them for weekend wear. Liberation was followed by the post-war boom. Throughout the world, jeans became an emblem for young people of a new, free and anti-establishment life-style.
Detailed specification (Swiss method 1 >> Development of items II) I can understand the main points in short newspaper articles about current and familiar topics. I can guess the meaning of single unknown words from the context thus deducing the meaning of expressions if the topic is familiar. I can skim short texts (for example news summaries) and find relevant facts and information (for example who has done what and where).
I can understand the plot of a clearly structured story and recognise what the most important episodes and events are and what is significant about them. I can understand a simple news item of immediate interest and underline what appears to be the most important point. I possess sufficient vocabulary to understand the majority of texts on subjects related to my daily life, such as family, hobbies and interests, work, travel and everyday events.