Part 3 - A simple self-reflection task to show how much the students enjoyed the activities in the coursebook module. Again, they coloured in one of three simple face icons.
* Sad face = didn't enjoy it
* Neutral face = it was ok
* Smiley face = enjoyed it
Part 4 - A separate box for the teacher to write his/her own comments. Also, a box for parents to sign, as students were expected to take the evaluation sheet home to display as part of their on-going portfolio of work.
Results : I found that the students really looked forward to these assessment lessons and were very proud of their completed evaluation sheets. Surprisingly, even at this age, they were able to self-reflect quite openly and honestly and did not automatically give themselves the maximum award if they felt it was undeserved. Sometimes, though, it was necessary for me to intervene if students were colouring in 3 pictures when they had clearly struggled to complete the task.
The opportunity to complete the tasks in pairs or small groups removed the pressure of being individually tested and added an enjoyable element to the assessment process. Clearly, there is also a necessity for students to be able to work independently, which is why students are asked to reflect on their ability to work alone in Part 3. If desired, an individual task could easily be included in the assessment to distinguish the stronger students from the weaker ones.
Summary : Overall, I think this type of on-going assessment is effective not only in recycling and revising language but also in encouraging younger learners to be aware of their own abilities and needs and to perceive assessment as a positive experience.
As far as teachers are concerned, it is also an excellent way of monitoring student progress on a regular basis and discovering which activities students respond to more favourably. This is invaluable information when planning future lessons to suit the learning styles within the group as well as pinpointing which language areas and which skills need developing further.
Finally, I think ongoing assessment works best when it is combined with an element of overall assessment, particularly with seniors, who are perhaps more motivated by the opportunity to display their individual knowledge as well as their ability to work as a group. Personally, I find the productive skills; speaking and writing, which require a process of drafting and editing are better suited to formative assessment, whereas the receptive skills; listening and reading, can be effectively tested using summative assessment methods. In this way learners benefit from the social, co-operative skills required for group work but also have the opportunity to demonstrate their individual potential.
Write on! - Creative writing as language practice : Franz Andres Morrissey, English Department, University of Berne
* What are the benefits of creative writing in the language classroom?
o For language learners in general
o For students of literature
* How can creative writing work?
o Starting up
o Presenting and feedback
* What can we write?
* What comes first, reading or writing?
o Reading first
o Writing first
* So, creative writing ...