Learner-Directed Assessment in ESL

Learner-Directed Assessment in ESL

Learner-Directed Assessment in ESL

Learner-Directed Assessment in ESL

Synopsis

This text integrates the theory and practice of learner-based assessment. Written in response to two recent movements in language teaching--learner-centered teaching and a renewed interest in authenticity in language testing--it examines the relationship between the language learner and language assessment processes, and promotes approaches to assessment that involve the learner in the testing process. Particular attention is given to issues of reliability and validity. Grounded in current pedagogical applications of authentic assessment measures, this volume is intended for and eminently accessible to classroom teachers and program directors looking for ways to include their students in the evaluation process, graduate students, and professional language testers seeking authenticity in assessment and desiring to create more interactive evaluation tools.

Excerpt

Lyle F. Bachman University of California, Los Angeles

Two recent movements in applied linguistics -- learner-centered language teaching and a renewed interest in the authenticity, interactiveness, and impact of language assessments -- have come together to bring about a greater concern for and interest in expanding the role of the learner or test-taker in the assessment process. Learner-centered teaching has focused not only on the types of learning activities or tasks with which learners interact in language classes, but also on greater involvement of learners in directing their own learning. Interest in facilitating self-directed learning has led to the development of self-access or independent learning centers, where learners work by themselves, in pairs, and in small groups, interacting in a wide variety of activities involving a vast array of technologies, from tape and video players to live satellite transmissions to the most sophisticated computer-based multimedia learning programs, as well as human tutors and group facilitators. What has often been slighted in both learner-centered classroom activities and self-access centers is the development of appropriate assessment procedures in which learners are not only test-takers but also active participants in the assessment process. The chapters in this volume provide some useful insights into this issue and suggest a number of approaches for greater involvement of learners in the assessment process. Interest among language testers in making language assessments more authentic and interactive, and for facilitating positive impact on test-takers, has led to renewed interest in assessment procedures such as self-assessment and portfolios, and research into the application of research . . .

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