Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

The Entry Test of the English Department at the College of Arts: Evaluations and Adoption

Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

The Entry Test of the English Department at the College of Arts: Evaluations and Adoption

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide guidance and criteria for the Department of Foreign Languages at Taif University, KSA, to be more selective in choosing students to study English language and literature. This study is also an evaluation of the courses offered by the department.

Furthermore, the objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility of using effective and reliable testing tools to assess and evaluate students' performance and accomplishment. This test will help to have a better idea about students' performance and competence. This will give the policy makers at the Department better understanding and knowledge for the process in selecting the courses and reference books as well as tailoring the teaching materials towards students' needs and their career. Last, this will help the people in the authority to pinpoint the weaknesses and strengths of the programs offered by the university.

Keywords: assessment, evaluation, criterion-referenced, facility index

(ProQuest: ... denotes formula omitted.)

1. Introduction

1.1 Aims of Research

The aims of the research are to achieve the following:

1) Explaining the difference between assessment and evaluation.

2) Explaining the difference between "formative evaluation" and "summative evaluation".

3) Outlining the different basic methods of carrying out an evaluation.

4) Pointing out the extent to which the Entry Test of the English Department can achieve the intended objectives set by the admission committee for setting up the test items.

5) Enabling the department to find out how effective and successful the Entry Test as a means of measurement to determine the best candidates to join the department to study English language.

1.2 Objectives of the Research

They are to:

1) Analyse students' answers to the questions of the Entry Test.

2) Recognise the "easiest" and the "most difficult" items of the above mentioned test.

3) Enhance decisions about how to create and improve more effective admission test.

4) Which part of the Entry Test is the most successful?

5) Which part is the least successful?

6) To point out the good and bad questions.

1.3 Limitation of the Research

The research was limited to assess and evaluate the Entry or admission test of the English Department, at the faculty of Arts, Taif University. This criterion-referenced test is usually given to students, who are willing to join four- year BA program. The results of this Entry Test would be useful for selecting the best candidates to study at the department.

2. Evaluation and Assessment

2.1 Language Assessment

Many aspects of the language study may be tested at a number of levels and in a variety of ways. Most of teachers continue to set up tests of a kind they are familiar with without asking themselves these basic questions:

1) What is my purpose in testing these students?

2) How is the test related to the objectives of this course?

3) What do I expect this test to show?

4) Am I really testing what the students have been learning?

Answering these questions will involve a fundamental understanding of the principles of both assessment and evaluation! There is a useful distinction we can make between these two words which in every day and indeed in most dictionaries seem hypothetical. If we know exactly what it is synonyms that a student is expected to be able to do, then all we have to do is to ask him or her to demonstrate that he or she can do it in the forms of "tests" or "examination" which both means of assessment. Thus, ASSESSMENT, as in Oller (1978), Rivers (1968), and Rountree (2008), is the process of finding out what the students have attained to what level of proficiency.

2.2 Kinds of Language Assessment

Assessments vary in nature. If it is to rank or compare the achievement of student in relation to other students, this will be called NORM-REFERENCED ASSESSMENT. …

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