Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Part 2 More Critical Points in English Language and Foreign Language Testing and Evaluation

Testing, Evaluation and Assessment in EFL and Foreign Language Classes
We’ll continue to look at some critical points which need to be considered along with the English as a foreign or second language testing, evaluation and assessment processes. Generally, similar conditions and aspects apply to the teaching and learning of other foreign languages as well. So, we’ll discuss some additional points here in the second part of this two-part article post.

4. Allow a Sufficient Amount of Time

As an English as a foreign language or other foreign language teacher, have you ever taken the time to sit down and actually DO one of your own exams? If not, how do you determine the length of time required to complete an exam? Of course, your EFL learners likely will take much longer than you will to complete an exam, but you do need at least some benchmark to establish time parameters. Say double or triple your time of completion for your foreign language learners and you’ll be somewhere in the ball park.

5. Explain Exam and Test-taking Parameters Clearly

“Oh, my English language learners know what to do”, you say? Tell them the rules anyway. Watch their faces. When you see the “lights go on” in some of their faces you’ll realize the need for this. This also aids you in “putting your foot down” when something goes awry. You can then say with authority, “I told you about that before the exam”. If the language class must turn off cellular phones, MP3, MP4, iPod or other electronic devices, refrain from going into purses, bags, or abide by other specific regulations, be sure they know in advance of the test-taking period and again immediately before the exam begins. This has saved my bacon moiré than once over the years, and it will yours too, when done regularly.

6. ENFORCE Your Parameters and Test-taking Regulations or Parameters

You’d think that your English as a foreign language learners would then blithely adhere to your correct parameters when taking tests, evaluations or assessments of their foreign language knowledge and communicative skills. Oh, but if that only were true. Unfortunately, you know and I know that there will always be the “jokers”, the “Clowns”, the inept and the ever-present “unmotivated”, “disinterested” or “unprepared” who will seemingly do their absolute utmost to deride even your best efforts. Fore-warned is almost always fore-armed.

Your Feedback is Encouraged

As always, your feedback, questions, comments, insights and suggestions are encouraged. What works – or doesn’t, for you and your English as a foreign language learners, along with any interesting experiences you might have can be posted.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, prolific writer, author and public speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, "If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

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