Evaluating the knowledge adhered
Practice Sheet for the Educator
Aim: This Practice Sheet can be used to introduce educators and non-educators to some common Formative Assessment Strategies that can be used within your workshops within BIBLIODOS or any other material for learning a second and/ or foreign language. The idea that Assessment can be used for Learning (AFL) also known as Formative Assessment (FA) is not new but it goes back to 1967 when it was first addressed by Scriven. The main idea is that we do not use the Assessment to give grades or to categorise or promote students in another grade/level but to help them with their learning as it is (on) going. So, the educator in this way can receive some formal or informal data that will help develop the next steps within the learning process.
Key Words: Formative Assessment, Assessment for Learning, Formative Strategies.
Prior Knowledge: Although strictly speaking students should not have any specific prior knowledge, because most of these strategies require knowledge of writing they could be undertaken in a common language of the educator and the students (beyond the one they are trying to learn).
In BIBLIODOS there is an attempt to introduce non or small readers to the European Classic literature whilst promoting language learning simultaneously to familiarising with cultural heritage. In other words, BILBIODOS project is combining Language Learning with discovering European Heritage by combining literature and artistic work. Through BIBLIODOS you can see how stories from Europe’s Literary Heritage have been adapted to the basic principles of the A1.1, A1.1, A1 language level acquisition. In addition, some rich Pedagogical Dossiers have been developed within BIBLIODOS project, one for each e-book presented which include in the end, fruitful activities. The Formative Strategies suggested here can be given, in the end of the Activities suggested in those ped. Dossiers. These strategies can also be given at any point the educator feels he wants to check the progress of the students in order to have a clearer picture of the milestones achieved (or not) and plan the next steps. It is different to Summative Assessment which usually involves (as its name suggest) strategies to sum-up the knowledge, uses quantitative methods of assessing and it usually aims in making final conclusions about the learning.
Formative Assessment in a Foreign Language environment
It is considered as vital to know from the very beginning the motivation of each of your students in learning the foreign language. This will be a key parameter for later on, as you can structure (or alter already existing) activities based on their interests/ motivations (Barbosa and Beserra, 2015).
More specific suggestions are given by Fishell et al (2011) in the framework of several languages when taught as foreign languages. It is suggested that far and foremost learning targets should be clear in a student friendly language and the setting of achievable goals is paramount. The provision of constructive feedback individually and in class should be set a as a necessity. The students should also be given several attempts to meet the learning goals set. Grades on the other hand are not a priority in this setting, zeros should not be given at this point and of course if grades are given, they should not be as a punishment. The scoring can be something like:
- needs more practice to meet target
- needs a little more practice to meet target
- met the target
- above the target
Above we can see some indicative strategies useful when teaching almost any language. It is up to you and your audiences which ones to use. Some of them might seem childish and probably disregarded by your audience.
At the end of this practice sheet, you should be able to:
- Realise the difference between Formative and Summative Assessment
- Know the benefits of using Formative Assessment
- Implement main strategies of Formative Assessment in a Foreign Language framework
- Barbosa, M., & Beserra, L. (2015). Formative Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom. BELT – Brazilian English Language Teaching Journal, 6, 100. https://doi.org/10.15448/2178-3640.2015.1.20200
- Fishell, E., Lawrence, A., & Nelson, V (2011). Formative Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom, IWLA Conference.
- Scriven, M., (1967). The methodology of evaluation. In R.W Tyler, R.M., Gagne., & Scriven, M (Eds.), Perspectives of curriculum evaluation, 39-83. Chicago, IL Rand McNally.
Although there are some differences between Formative Assessment in a local language and the way it can be used in the Foreign language framework some much sited books which can give you ideas on strategies include:
- Dodge, J. (2009). 25 quick formative assessments for a differentiated classroom, http://store.scholastic.com/content/stores/media/products/samples/21/9780545087421.pdf
- Regier, N. (2012). Book two: 60 formative assessment strategies. Regier Educational Resources.
- Keeley, P. (2015). Science Formative Assessment, Volume 1: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning. Corwin Press
- Daily Formative Assessment in Second Language Acquisition https://www.nysut.org/~/media/files/nysut/resources/2012/may/educators-voice-5-assessments/edvoicev_07_daily_assessment_esl.pdf?la=en