ORAL LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT IN THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASS
INTERPRET AND REPORT THE RESULTS
Teachers should interpret the results of the oral assessment activity according to the purpose of the assessment. Results can be used by students and parents to focus on areas for improvement. Since the assessment is broken down into specific criteria, students can see more clearly where improvements could be made. Feedback to students can take many forms. It can be through the use of questions asked orally or through written notes. These questions can urge the students to think about their own learning. Feedback can also take place during conferences or informal conversations. The goal is to help students become more responsible in their own learning by allowing them to reflect and by helping them set goals (Classroom Assessment: Linking Instruction and Assessment, p. 26).
To be effective, feedback to students needs to be specific to give students some guidance, but not so specific that it will rob them of any creativity.
"You need to work on your pronunciation."
"You are getting better."
|"I like the way you
organized your oral presentation especially as you dealt with _____."
"Make sure that you do not pronounce the 'h' sound."
"I see a big difference on your willingness to experiment with the language especially when you said ______."
Feedback should not be limited to students. Parents are deeply appreciative and much more supportive of a program, or a teacher when they are informed about their child's achievement in that class. The feedback helps them monitor their child's learning. Feedback to parents can take many forms. It can include the sharing of students' grades, along with the rubrics used for the specific assignments, self-assessments and/or peer assessments. It can take the form of a checklist shared with the parents, where students' mastery of specific objectives, language functions, and skills is outlined. It can also take the form of conferences with or without the student's presence, and can include telephone calls or e-mails.
Whether the feedback is directed to students or to parents, teachers should be careful not to limit their feedback to the needs for improvement but also to comment on the individual progress and accomplishments of each student.
Additionally, teachers can use the results of assessments to determine the focus of future activities. When doing so, the link between curriculum, instruction and assessment is strengthened.