The usage of different types of control in the lesson of Foreign Language

The importance of the control in the lesson of Foreign Language. Test is one of the types of control and their characteristics. Vocabulary and Grammar, Reading and Writing, Listening and Speaking as tests. Dictation and its importance as a control.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид курсовая работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 15.09.2014
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The usage of different types of control in the lesson of Foreign Language


language foreign control

This paper deals with the different kinds of controls and the usage in the class (lesson) of foreign languages. The actuality of the properly organized control of pupils' achievements gives the teacher an opportunity to get a clear idea of his pupils' progress in foreign language learning. Analyzing the results of controls or testing, the teacher will see his shortcomings both in methods and techniques applied and in the progress of each pupil. It allows him to improve his own work. In this connection P. Olive writes, “A control measures not only the student's performance but also the effectiveness of the teacher's instruction. Control serves a diagnostic function. They show where students have difficulties. They provide information which should lead the teacher to modify his instruction”. Furthermore, control, it is the determination of the level of language proficiency that achieved by the students for a certain period of learning and training. So in addition, control is the part of the lesson that during learning teacher assesses how students have learned the material. The main purposes of control allows:

1) To teachers get information about:

- the result of pupil's knowledge separately and as a whole;

- the result of their own methods, techniques and the effectiveness on the process of teaching;

2) To pupils:

- To enhance the motivation on the process of learning, so as controls help to determine their success and failure;

- To study more diligently, make correction in the learning process.

The object of the control might be: a) a knowledge that formulated on the basis of language skills (language competence); b) the ability to use acquired knowledge and skills in different communicative situation (communicative competence); c) to learn the country of that language and their cultures, traditions and nations (socio-cultural competence). Not only to learn the abilities to speak on the way of language learning, but also the acquisition of language system is considered as a main object of the control.

The problem of the control: Deficiency of usage different kinds of controls on the process of foreign language teaching.

The features of control: Control in the classroom should reflect the specific nature of a foreign language as a school subject. In the study of academic disciplines that introduce the fundamentals of science, the purpose of determining the level of control is the knowledge acquired in the field of a science in a low degree - formed skills. Assimilation of a foreign language, is referred to the group of practical disciplines provide primarily seizing the means using language in a variety of activities and areas of communication. Therefore, control of knowledge of the language system does not provide information on the practical language possession as the level of communicative competence.

1. The importance of control

Control is an important part of every teaching and learning experience. How control helps students learning English can help students in at least two ways. First of all, such controls help create positive attitudes toward your class. In the interest of motivation and efficient instruction, teachers almost universally aim at providing positive classroom experiences for their students. There are some important ways that testing (as a one types of controls) can contribute to this aim. One that applies in nearly every class is a sense of accomplishment. In the early 1970s students in an intensive ESL program were being taught from an unstructured conversation-based text. These students complained that while they had ample opportunity to converse in English, they were “not learning anything”. Soon afterwards, however, periodic evaluation provided them with a sense of accomplishment that ended their dissatisfaction. Controls of appropriate difficulty announced well in advance and covering skills scheduled to be evaluated, can also contribute to a positive tone by demonstrating your spirit of fair play and consistency with course objectives.

A second way that English controls can benefit students is by helping them master the language. They are helped, of course, when they study for exams and again when exams are returned and discussed. Where several control tasks are given, learning can also be enhanced by student's growing awareness of your objectives and the areas of emphasis in the course. Control tasks con foster learning, too, by their diagnostic characteristics: They confirm what each person has mastered, and they point up those language items needing further attention. Naturally, a better awareness of course objectives and personal language needs can help your students adjust their personal goals. For example, one person might note your strong control emphasis on oral comprehension, and he might also find that he had missed several vocabulary items on a recent test. One logical step would be for him to concentrate on the meaning of troublesome words, especially in a spoken context. Learning to spell them or recognize them in a printed context would become a second priority. So good English control tasks help students learn the language by requiring them to study hard, emphasizing course objectives, and showing them where they need to improve. Teachers who teach English as a Second or Foreign Language are generally expected to be accountable for the results of our instruction. The control tasks can help them answer the important question “Have I been effective in my teaching?” In other words, they can use them to diagnose efforts as well as those of for their students. Even As they record the test scores, they might well ask themselves the following questions: “Are my lessons on the right level? Or am I aiming my instruction too low or high?” “What areas do we need more work on? Which points need reviewing?” In addition, control tasks can provide insights into ways that we can improve the evaluation process itself: “Were the test instructions clear?” “Was everyone able to finish in the allotted time?” “Did the test results reflect accurately how my students have been responding in class and in their assigned work?” Controls, then, benefit students, teachers, and even administrators by confirming progress that has been made and showing how we can best redirect their future efforts. In addition, good tests can sustain or enhance class morale and aid learning.

2. The requirements and forms of the control

It goes without saying that control will be effective when it appropriates with requirements of didactic and methods of learning foreign languages. The main requirements in control, it might be objectivity, regularity, differentiated character and clarity and precision in the formulation of control tasks. So, objectivity in control, it means compliance monitoring of the results of training a certain standard contained in the list of requirements to the level of proficiency for different stages of learning profiles. Knowledge assumes of the criteria for assessing students for various activities, compliance with these criteria, minimize subjectivity in the evaluation of students. Objectivity in control provided by:

· Quantitative evaluation of performance. Here, the greatest objectivity achieved by taking into account the number of errors in the speech, estimate the rate of speech and a number of other performance indicators;

· Qualitative assessment of performance (completeness of disclosure topics compliance statements job skill adequately express their thoughts in a given speech situation and etc.). It is possible in the assessment activities of subjectivity of students and the teacher must be prepared to assess formulated choice in terms of the existing criteria.

Regularity in control indicates that it has a systematic character. It is known that the intensity and duration of the students to memorize the acquired material depend on many frequency and regularity of control.

Differentiated character in control suggests requirements that followed below:

- Forms of control should be appropriate with those aspects of language or type of that performance which is getting to be checked. Thus, the assessments of language knowledge, especially in speaking part will be checked by differentiated features, but source of controls are its own oral part. For dialogic objects of control might be to understand partner's speech and definite his/her communicative intention, furthermore adequately influence on partner's replication, ability to initiate a dialog (to ask questions, make offers, desires, wish and so on). So, for monologue speech the objects of control will be ability to create constrained text from various communicative directions (affirmative, e-mail, essay, composition, discussion). Mainly, it consists of that control from speech will be correctly checked in the process of oral communication.

- Forms of control should be chosen depending on stage of teaching and student's individual-psychological peculiarities. This kind requirement reflects presence different levels of development.

Clarity and precision formulation in control tasks usually define success in the process of control. Sometimes control tasks might be formulated in learners' native language and installation for carrying out given tasks will assist to have well understanding about tasks.

3. Forms of control will be different

They are individual, frontage, group and pair. Each of these forms of control accomplished in oral and written forms. In order to determine the level of knowledge's monologue speech suits individual control: it means learners introduced with text and carry out tasks for test during certain time. Successfulness in carrying out tasks assess with such criteria:

1) Accordance transmitting the information of text content and tasks;

2) Connection and logicality in transmission;

3) Fullness and clarity of transmitted text;

4) Movement information with norms (lexicon -grammatically and phonetic-intonation).

Individual forms of control means an effective way of objective control, thus through this kind control determines each learner's success. That's why mostly it suits to check learner's knowledge at the end of the course as a final control. But this kind of control is not so suitable for kid learners, because they are not able to have attention separately. Secondly it is no so effective because while teacher explains one by one for kids, others get noisy. In the auditory individual control will be in oral form, but written form will be at the end of the each new theme.

Front control means that teacher fully has conversation and explanation with all learners at the same time they should give answer one by one just sitting on their chair. So effectiveness of this control are ability fully scope while checked; high activities of learners; high rate of execution of tasks. The limitation of front control is that teacher cannot give explanation about task one by one, here if student is not fully pay attention on teacher, they are not able to answer. That's why front control mostly suits to current control.

Group control will be got at the same time for all learners as a group work such as discussion for problem question, make role play for read texts, so teacher should prepare all tasks and their attendance in advance.

language foreign control

4. Several kinds of control in the lesson of Foreign Language

These kinds of controls are outlined in the books of Shuckin A.N, that he gave preliminary, current, mid-term and total controls.

Aim of the preliminary control contains that while checking learners' knowledge from language and their individual abilities (mind, attention, interests to learning language, inclination, and common development). So this kind of control helps to determine not only learner's knowledge, also their individually- psychological qualities, which assists success in the process of Foreign Language Learning.

Current control affords to check learner's language successes in the process of development and installation speech skills and abilities. This control should be regularly and directed to checking captured certain kinds of educational materials.

Mid-term control is conducted to a finished unit. It affords to check about effectiveness of divided program materials.

The final control directed to installation level of language knowledge that achieved certain kinds of volume of materials as a result in certain period of time (at the end of curriculum). The peculiarities of this kind of control concluded in the direction of determine level of language as communicative competence. That's why for the final control is used special kinds of tests, which allowed learners to be checked fully.

4. Test is one of the types of control and their characteristics

Test (from English it means “trial” and “investigation”) - this is the system of tasks, which carried out and afford characterize the level of knowledge of English language with the help of special scale results. Furthermore, tests are used for determination of learners' ability, mental development and other kinds of personal characteristics. There are four main reasons for testing which give to rise to four categories of test. Placement test: placing new students in the right class in a school facilitated with the use of placement tests. Usually based on syllabuses and materials the students will follow and use their level has been decided on, these test grammar and vocabulary knowlrdge and assess students's productive and receptive skills. Some schools ask students to assess themselves as part of placement process adding this self analysis into the finalplacing decision. Diagnostic test: while placement tests are designed to show how good a student's English is in relation to a previouslyagreed system of levels, diagnostic tests can be used to expose learner difficulties, gaps in their knowledge, and skills deficiencies during a course. Thus, when we know what the problems are, we can do something about them. Progress and achievement tests: these tests are designed to measure learners' language and skill progress in relation to the syllabus they have been following. Achievement tests only work if they contain item types which the studentsare familiar with. This doesn't mean that in a reading test, for example, we give them texts they have seen before, but it does mean providing them with similar texts and familiar text types. If students faced with completely new material, the test will not measure the learning that has been taking place, even though it can still measure general language proficiency. Achievement tests at the end of a term (like progress testsat the end of a unit, a fortnight, etc.) should progress, not failure. They should reinforce the learning that has taken place, not go out of their way to expose weaknesses. They can also help us to decide on change to future teaching programmes where students do significantly worse in (parts of) the test than we might have expected. Proficiency tests: proficiency tests give a general picture of a students' knowledge and ability (rather than measure progress). They re frequently used as stages people have to reach if they want to be admitted to a foreign university, get a job, or obtain some kind of certificate. Proficiency tests have a profound backwash effect since, where they are external exams, students obviously want to pass them, and teacher's reputations sometimes depend (probably unfairly) upon how many of them succeed.

In order to judge the effectiveness of any test it is sensible to law down criteria against which the test can be measured, as follows: Validity: a testis valid if it tests what it is supposed to test. Thus it is not valid, for example, to test writing ability with an essay question that requires specialist knowledge of history or biology - unless it is known that all students share this knowledge before they do the test. A particular kind of validity that concerns most test designers is face validity. This means that the test should look, on the face of it, as if it is valid. A test which consisted of only three multiple choice items would not convince students of its face validity however reliable or practical teachers thought it to be. Reliability: a good test should give consistent results. For example, if the same group of students took the same test twice within two days - without reflecting on the first test before they sat it again- they should get the same results on each occasion. If they took another similar test, the result should be consistent. If two groups who were demonstrably alike took the test, the marking range would be the same.

5. The usage of various controls in several skills

As we will be introduced below some kind of tests or controls in grammar, vocabulary and so on four skills such as speaking, writing, reading, listening and reading skills. Here my purpose is to show each items separately and at the same time to figure out theirs' advantages and disadvantages. In this way every teachers can choose appropriate kinds of test according to his/her learners' language level. So first one is for vocabulary and grammar.

Vocabulary and Grammar tests

The purpose of vocabulary test is to measure the comprehension and production of words used in speaking or writing. Four general kinds of vocabulary tests are presented. The first, limited response is for beginners. These test items require either a simple physical action like pointing at something or a very simple verbal answer such as “yes” or “no”. The second, multiple-choice completion, is a test in which sentence with a missing word is presented; students choose one of four vocabulary items given to complete the sentence. A third type, multiple- choice paraphrase, is a test in which a sentence with one word underlined is given. Students choose which of four words is the closet in meaning to the underlined item. A fourth kind of test, simple completion (words), has students write in the missing part of words that appear in sentences. Deciding how to test vocabulary is related to how we teach it. Most ESL teachers today do not recommend having students simply memorize lists of words. Instead, they teach students to find the meaning of words through of context of the sentence, and they help increase comprehension by teaching important affixes (happy: unhappy/beauty: beautiful). In testing vocabulary, we also need to avoid presenting words in isolation. Checking vocabulary mastery can be adjusted to match your emphasis on oral or written skills. Suppose improving conversation skills is your primary objective: You can test vocabulary by using oral clues (“What time is it?”) and by requiring spoken answers (“It is nine o'clock”). On the other hand, suppose you are stressing reading: You can offer a written multiple- choice format (“He bought a cake at the (A) bank, (B) bakery, (C) hardware store, (D) bookstore”).


1. Write out five commands that a student can perform (individually) by moving about the room, and five commands that he can perform while sitting down.

2. Write out five commands or questions that a student can respond to (individually) by pointing to a picture that you have found. Include the picture.

3. Using the picture from activity 2, prepare five requests five requests that require students to follow instructions by drawing.

4. Using original line drawings or pictures (from your students' text) showing activities, prepare five vocabulary questions that require short answers. Supply sample answers.

Advantages of Limited Response:

Ш It causes less stress or nervousness than other types of tests.

Ш It avoids skills such as reading and writing that have not yet been developed.

Ш It can be scored easily and objectively.

Limitations of Limited Response:

Ш It requires individual testing, which takes longer than group testing.

Ш It is usually difficult to test abstract words with this technique.

Ш Sketches are sometimes ambiguous (e.g., an orange may look like a ball; running may look like dancing or jumping).


1. The following sentences contain examples of distractor difficulties. Identify the weakness in each item. Then correct it.

2. Prepare five test items from words in your students' text, or use the following vocabulary words: truth/weekend/secret/perfume.

a) For each word write a sentence context that reflects the meaning of word as clearly as possible.

b) Prepare three good distractors for each test item.

c) Write simple, clear instructions, and include an example.

Advantages of Multiple- Choice Completion:

ь It helps students see the full meaning of words by providing natural contexts. Also, it is a good influence on instruction: It discourages word-list memorization.

ь Scoring is easy and consistent.

ь It is a sensitive measure of achievement.

Limitations of Multiple -Choice Completion:

ь It is rather difficult to prepare good sentence contexts that clearly show the meaning of the word being tested.

ь It is easy for students to cheat by copying what others have circled.

Grammar tests are designed to measure student proficiency in matters ranging from inflections (bottle-bottles, bake-baked) to syntax. Syntax involves the relationship of words in a sentence, including matters such as word order, use of negative, question forms, and connectives.

LIMITED RESPONSE: The grammar of students with very little ability in English can be checked without having them speak or write anything. This can be done by means of directed physical responses and visuals. So here was presented two basic ways to measure grammar skills of these beginning level students: (1) testing them one at a time, and (2) testing them in groups.

Individual testing: You can test students individually by using oral requests. These requests can ask for easy spoken replies or simply for nonverbal actions. When teaching students who know almost no English, you can permit answers in their native language.

Example: (students hear in English)

“How many books are on the table?”

(students answer in their language)

“There are six.”

Pictures can be used to test students individually or in a groups. To test preposition recognition, we can ask , “Is the lady on the house?” Or we can say, “Point to the child behind the car.”

Group testing: You can also test students in groups by using directed physical responses. The following “drawing” activity can test prepositions of place: First, explain and illustrate any new vocabulary words. Then have students make a drawing according to your spoken instructions: “Draw an airplane in the middle of the paper.[pause while students draw.] Now draw a house below the airplane. [Pause] Next draw a cloud in front of the airplane.” Using a picture like the first one, you can test your student's understanding of prepositions. For example, we can say, “Draw a circle around the person on the house” or “Draw an `X' on the boy behind the car”. Sets of three or four related pictures can evaluate mastery of a number of grammar points. Here is a set that tests the comparative:

(nonverbal) “Circle the picture that illustrates this sentence: `The boy is as big as the girl.'”

(yes-no) “Look at picture `B.' Is the boy as big as the girl?”

(true-false) “Look at picture `C' The girl is taller than the boy”

Advantages of Limited Response:

v It puts students at ease and avoids unnecessary stress.

v It avoids skills such as reading and writing that have not yet been developed.

v It can be scored easily and objectively.

Limitations of Limited Response:

v Individual testing takes longer than group testing.

v It is difficult to find suitable pictures (although the teacher can make needed sketches).

v Only a limited number of grammatical structures can be tested.


Cloze tests are prose passages, usually a paragraph or more in length, from which words have been deleted. The student relies on the context in order to supply the missing words. At the present time, no single test format is more popular than the cloze procedure. It is easy to prepare and rather easy to score. Teachers like it too because it is integrative - that is, it requires students to process the components of language simultaneously, much like what happens when people communicate. Moreover, studies have shown that it relates well to various language measures- from listening comprehension to overall performance on a battery of language tests. In brief, it is a good measure of overall proficiency.

1) Write out the major problem that you see in the following cloze test. Disregard its short length.

There was much conflict in early Vermont. It remained an unbroken wilderness until_____ , when a French officer established Fort ____ on Isle La Motte. In 1924 Massachusetts ____ fearing attacks by the French and _____ , built Fort Dummer near the present ____ of Brattleboro. The French forts at ____ and Crown Point were used as ___ for attacks.

Key: (1666, St. Anne, colonists, Indians, site, Chimney Point, bases).

2) Two different cloze passages were prepared from a single essay. The actual key to each test is listed here, though the essay is not printed. Compare their usefulness as grammar tests. Key#1: basically, drawings, called, reappear, story, a, a, a, of, outlined, page, of. Key#2: by, can, the, in, to, so, Their, of, who, a, the, have.

3) Prepare a full-length cloze test. It should test grammar, and it should be on the right level for your students. Write out the instructions and the passage (with numbered blanks). Include a key at the end. Optional activity: Administer the test and choose equivalent correct answers. Tell what they are and how you chose them.

Advantages of Cloze:

· It is easy to prepare and quite easy to score.

· It is a good measure of integrative English skills.

· Standard cloze is a good measure of overall ability in English.

Limitations of Cloze:

· It is not a sensitive measure of short-term gains.

· It is difficult for teachers who are non-native English speakers to choose acceptable equivalent words.

Reading and Writing tests

Test of reading come in a wide variety of forms and evaluates a broad spectrum of reading activities. These range from pre-reading concerns (learning the Roman alphabet, for example, or word- attack skills) to reading comprehension, reading speed, and skimming techniques. Advanced and more specialized applications include translations, reading aloud, and reading literature. Reading speed is especially important for students with lots of out-of-class reading to do. Skimming is handy for people who need to hunt for information in print: This includes reading a newspaper as well as doing research in a library. The advanced applications are helpful for translators as well as radio and television announcers. Many students at the advanced level can use skills of literary analysis for school and leisure.


1) Prepare a list of five pairs of letters that students might confuse. (Example: “b” and “d”)

2) Prepare a set of ten same- different phrase items. Select them from your student's ESL text, or use these phrases and choose five more: at the fountain/ has been paid/ an ill man/ shall we go/ that's quite petty.

3) Prepare a set of ten odd-item triplets. Use words from ESL text.

4) Prepare a set of ten key-word items, each with three distractors, plus the word that matches the key. Select them from your student's ESL text. Or you may use these words and then choose five more: slips, matted, stacks, paper, fright.

Advantages of Limited- Response items:

These are quite easy to construct and score.

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Only the recognition of letters is required, making this a simple task for beginning students.

Limitations of Limited- Response Items:

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This is not an integrative skill involving actual reading.

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Overemphasis on this technique could reduce reading speed.Размещено на


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1) Prepare or select a set of three related sketches. Prepare a statement on one of them. Make sure it involves reading comprehension.

2) Find a picture- preferably one with various activities in it. Prepare three true -false items related to it. These should be written on a level that your students can understand. Then prepare two yes-no items on the picture. These should be on your student's level.

3) Prepare a list of twenty signs. If these are available in your student text, use them. If not, use signs that your students could encounter in English. Write these out. Then choose five of these to test the meaning of. Prepare five three- option multiple- choice questions that test meaning through paraphrase.

4) Prepare four three-option multiple-choice questions to test the most advanced grammar items that you have recently taught to your students. Or you may use the items below. Use paraphrase.

a) I'd live in a dorm if I didn't have an uncle in town.

b) If she hadn't answered the telephone, she wouldn't have heard the good news.

c) He said I wouldn't graduate unless I studied harder.

d) She'll invite him whether or not he finishes the painting.

5) Prepare sentence-comprehension items.

a) Write five true-false sentences on your student's level.

b) Write directions for these items and include an example.

Advantages of Sentence- Comprehension Items

It is rather easy to write true-false items on pictures.

These are good for testing the skills of near beginning students.

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This is a rapid way to test reading comprehension.

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Limitations of Sentence- Comprehension Items

Finding good pictures can be rather time consuming.

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1. Prepare a multiple-choice cloze test form the following passage. Get three distractors for each word in bold face. If possible, get your distractors by administering the passage to your ESL students or students in other class.

The miller had a hut in a little town in a land across the sea. The beautiful castle where the king lived was in the same town. But the miller had not met the king. One day the miller had to take a sack of corn to the king's castle. As he was going into the castle, he met the king. The miller bowed to the king and the king stopped to talk to him. They talked and talked. The miller told the king that he lived in the town. And from this time on, they became the best of friends.

Advantages of Passage Comprehension

This is the most integrative type of reading test.

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It is objective and easy to score.

It can evaluate students at every level of reading development.

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Limitations of Passage Comprehension

Passage comprehension is more time consuming to take than other kinds of tests.

One pitfall in preparing this kind of test is utilizing questions that deal with trivial details.

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Passage- comprehension tests which use questions on trivial details encourage word-by-word reading.

Writing testsРазмещено на


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: There are many kinds of writing tests. The reason for this is fairly simple: A wide variety of writing tests is needed to test the many kinds of writing tasks that we engage in. For one thing, there are usually distinct stages of instruction in writing such as pre-writing, guided writing, and free writing. Each stage tends to require different types of evaluation. Test variety also stems from the various applications of writing. These range from school uses such as note taking and class reports to common personal needs such as letter writing and filling out forms. Beside these, there specialized advanced applications: the attorney's legal brief or summary, translation, secretarial uses, advertising, research reports, journalism, and literature. Such different writing applications also often call for different test applications. Another reason for the variety of writing tests in use is the great number of factors that can be evaluated: mechanics (including spelling and punctuation), vocabulary, grammar, appropriate content, diction (or word selection), rhetorical matters of various kinds (organization, cohesion, unity; appropriateness to the audience, topic, and occasion); as well as sophisticated concerns such as logic and style.


1. Prepare ten sentence-combining items that are suitable for your students. Use sentence connectors (not subordinators). Beginning and lower intermediate students may need a list of connectors to choose from it.

2. Prepare a ten-item expansion task. Use sentences from your student's ESL text. Or you may use the following four sentences and then compose six of your own. Indicate where the additions should be placed. Write out suggested answers.

a) One reason is that he had not finished school.

b) The scenery is beautiful.

c) Mary's friend injured her foot.

d) The strike inconvenienced everyone.

3. Prepare a ten-item sentence- reduction task. Underline the part of the sentence to be replaced. Add necessary clue words. Then indicate what the revision should be.

4. Select a 100-to-150-word passage, and prepare an oral cloze. Write out a set of instructions.

Advantages of Limited-Response Items:

· These are generally quite easy to construct.

· These are suitable for students with limited ability in English.

· Except for the open-ended variety, these are rather objective for a writing-related task.

Limitations of Limited- Response Items:

· These do not measure actual writing skill.

· These can be rather slow to correct-especially the open-ended variety.


1. Write a paragraph to check organization (or find one in your student's text). Use clear transition words (such as “a second reason…..” or “just before noon……”). Scramble the sentences, and prepare instructions for the student.

2. Find a dialog in one of the texts that you are using in your English class. Copy it out, and write instructions for your students to write a narrative from it, not using any quotation marks. Give a short example. Then prepare model of what you think the students should write.

3. Now provide a different kind of guided- writing test. After writing out a set of instructions, prepare six or eight questions on a specific topic (such as a sport, a vocation, a city). Then prepare a model of what you think the students should write.

Advantages of Guided-Writing Tests:

Guided writing tests are rather quick and easy to construct.

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Because they require an active rather than a passive response, guided testing techniques give the appearance of being an effective measure of writing.

Guided-writing tests provide appropriate control for those students who not readyРазмещено на


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to write on their own.

Limitations of Guided-Writing Tests:

Guided-writing tests do not measure ingredients such as organization found in extended writing.

Guided-writing of the paragraph -outline variety is often rather time consuming and difficult to gРазмещено на


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Guided-writing of the paragraph -outline variety is difficult to score with real consistency.

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1. Find or draw a picture sequence that tells a story. Write instructions for your students so they can write a narrative based on the pictures.

2. Find a chart or table or diagram for your students to interpret in a free-writing task. Include this with your set of instructions to the students.

3. Provide a very specific situation to serve as a guideline for your student writing.

4. Using a holistic approach, team up with another teacher and grade a set of compositions, if possible at least 10 to 20 of them. Determine your criteria in advance. Report the results of your grading.

Advantages of Free-Writing Approaches

Despite its limitations, this is anРазмещено на


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important, sound measure of overall writing ability.

This can have a good effect on instruction: Students will be more motivated to write in and out of class, knowing that their test will be an actual writing task.

There is virtually no chance of getting Размещено на


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a passing grade on a free-writing test by cheating. (Like other examinations, it would be conducted in the classroom under supervision.)

Limitations of Free-Writing Approaches

Grading of free- writing tends to lack objectivity and consistency.

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Listening and Speaking tests.

There are broad categories of tests that incorporate the listening skill. One group of these oral tests simply uses listening as a tool to evaluate something else. For instance, in the limited-response section, we mentioned how beginner's word mastery could be checked by having them listen and respond to simple commands such as “Hand me the chalk”. Listening was also used as a means of evaluating low-level proficiency in grammar and pronunciation. But we have also seen listening used to evaluate more advance integrative skills - by means of a dictation. Listening tests are those that evaluate proficiency in the listening skill itself, namely listening comprehension. Since listening includes the recognition of words and structures and pronunciation features, the difference between subskill tests using listening as a tool and the integrative lesson comprehension test can be blurred at times. But the essential difference is that subskill tests focus on the linguistic components of language, while the comprehension test is concerned with broader communication. Moreover, broader communication is concerned not with the bits and pieces of language but with the exchange of facts and ideas, as well as interpreting the speaker's intentions. First of all, I begin with a variety of ways to test the listening comprehension of beginning students. Then examine the appropriate-response technique, and it includes with the testing of extended communication.


There are simple effective ways to test the listening skill of beginning adults or children. One involves listening and native language responses. Another uses listening and picture clues. A third involves listening plus simple task responses.

Native-Language Responses: There is an interesting little quiz that can be used with beginners during their first days of instruction. Suppose you were teaching Spanish speakers, and suppose also that you had friends who spoke German, French and Arabic. You could tape random sentences or two-line dialogs of English, intermingled with utterance in these three other languages. After each number on their paper, students could indicate in their native language “English” or “other”. For those just slightly more advanced, you could use true-false questions with the true-false options printed in the native language. Classes with mixed language background could simply circle “T” for true and “F” for false. Depending on how much vocabulary they had acquired, students would respond to questions such as the following:

Horses can fly. T : F

Houses are bigger than people. T : F

Picture clues: Visual of various kinds have long been used to test listening comprehension. Although the technique is not limited to beginning students, it is especially useful with beginners: Students do not need to be literate in their second language in order to be tested. When using a set of three or four related pictures, keep these ideas in mind: There does not have to be a story line relating the pictures to each other. The same set can be used for several questions. You could duplicate them so each student has his own, or you could make a transparency and use an overhead projector to display them to the class. Another possibility is to sketch them on the chalkboard. If students have own, they can circle objects referred to, or you can have them identify pictures by number. The sample set on page 130 can be followed by this listening comprehension question:

“Although their bikes are clean, the two boys are dirty” (Students would select picture number two).

Prepare a map showing local streets and businesses. Next, in colored ink or colored pencil, trace a route on that map. Then prepare instructions which tell your students how to trace that same route on their maps.

Advantages of Limited Response

· This is suitable for persons not able to read and write in the target language.

· This involves flexible techniques: Some are interesting to children, and several techniques are useful for young people and adults with intermediate to advanced skills.

· The questions are generally quite easy to prepare.

· Limited-response items are generally rather objective as well as quick and easy to score.

Limitations of Limited Response

· Native-language responses are limited to classes with bilingual teachers and students with the same language background.

· Suitable pictures for picture clue items are not always easy to find.

· Equipment (such as a Xerox or other copy machine) is usually needed to reproduce drawings for certain task-response and picture-clue items.

Multiple-choice appropriate response

There are three guidelines to keep in mind when preparing multiple-choice appropriate-response items to test listening comprehension: Focus on meaning; keep the options simple; and learn to adjust the difficulty of the items.

1. Focus on meaning. When writing multiple-choice appropriate-response items, use vocabulary and grammar that your students already know. The object is to measure only the students' understanding of a particular sentence or short dialog. Look at the following example (the part in parentheses is heard but not read; the three options are read only):

(When Jack leaves, they will hire you, won't they?)

A. Yes, you will. B. Yes, he is leaving. C. Yes , they will.

2. Keep the options simple. Look at the sample that mentioned above again. Notice how simple and brief the three options are. Each one is only about three words long. Students have to keep the stem in their memory; they won't hear it a second time. Therefore, you use only three options , and you keep these brief so the students won't become confused. Notice, too, that the options are simpler than the stem. In addition, you can see that the distractors are all grammatically correct; they are simply not suitable for this particular context.

3. Learn to adjust the difficulty of the items. We can take items like those illustrated above, and you can make them easier or more difficult. In other words, we can adjust them to match what we have taught our students. Suppose we needed easier questions. We could simplify the stem, and you could make the distractors seem less correct. The result is a much easier question:

(Will they help you?)

A. Yes, you will. B. I did. C. Yes, they will.

Advantages of Multiple- Choice Appropriate Response

ь It is fast and easy to correct.

ь It can be scored consistently and reliably.

ь It is an integrative, communicative measure of listening.

Limitations of Multiple- Choice Appropriate Response

ь It is more difficult to prepare than tests for beginners.

ь Cheating is fairly easy, unless alternate forms are used.

ь Since the reading of multiple-choice options is required, students need to be literate in English.

Speaking Tests: The testing of speaking is widely regarded as the most challenging of all language exams to prepare, administer, and score. For this reason, many people don't even try to measure the speaking skill. They simply don't know where to begin the task of evaluating spoken language. The most purpose is to present the most effective classroom approaches available for measuring oral proficiency. The nature of speaking skill itself is not usually well defined. Understandably then, there is some disagreements on just what criteria to choose in evaluating oral communication. Grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation are often named as ingredients. But matters such as fluency and appropriateness of expression are usually regarded as equally important. There are given several kinds samples in order to measure and make control on speaking skill.

Limited Response .

1. Directed Response items.

a. Write instructions and directed response items that require your students to produce the following sentences.

1. She likes you.

2. The music is too loud.

3. Thanks very much for showing me the way here.

4. I wouldn't do that if I were you.

5. It's quite warm outside today, isn't it?

b. Prepare five directed-request items that require stidents to produce the sentences below.

1. When does the game start/

2. Where is the nearest drinking fountain?

3. Pardon me, can you speak Spanish?

4. Could you show me the way to the manager's office, please?

5. I'm very sorry to be late. (I missed the bus).

c. Prepare three situational directed-request items, suitable for your students.

2. Picture-clue items.

a. Find or draw four pictures. Prepare a separate question for each picture; this should be on your student's level. Plan the questions to avoid one-word responses. Give a sample answer for each question.

b. Find or draw a set of pictures that tell a story or incident. Three to five should be enough. Then prepare a question on each frame, to help your students “tell the story.” Include the pictures.

c. Prepare or find a map or chart. Write out two questions on this visual; they should be on your students' level. Include the map or chart with your questions.

3. Reading-aloud passage. Select a reading-aloud passage suitable for your students. Include your instructions, and indicate what criteria will be used for grading your students' performance.

B. Guided Techniques.

1. Paraphrase. Select a little story for your students to paraphrase. Write out suitable instructions. (The story is to be read aloud to them.) Provide three or four simple line drawings that can help students recall details from the story.

2. Explanation. Write out five explanation items, such as “Tell how Moslems observe Ramadan.” These should be on your students' level. After each item, write out a model explanation.

3. Guided role play. Prepare two guided role-plays to test your students with. These should be equal in difficulty. In other words, the same kinds of questions should be asked on each. Only the subject matter should be different. In parentheses, prepare a model student response following each line that the teacher speaks.

C. Oral interview. Prepare a 20- item guided oral interview appropriate for your students. Include yes/no, wh-, and either/or questions. Also include statements. Include one or two questions that get the students to offer some kind of correction or modification. Also include at least one question requiring clarification. Include at least two or three questions. Make sure that most of the questions have some logical relationship to adjoining questions.

6. Dictation and its importance as a control

Dictation is one of the guided- writing controls. Most teachers about this technique, but few handle it properly. Actually, this is one of the easiest controls to use, and it gives very good information on the student's language ability. But this is true only if you prepare it right, present it right, and score it right. You can get good results from a dictation if you follow the steps listed below.

Preparing a Dictation

First, choose a story or article that is not too difficult for your students. You can pick a selection from the reader that you use in class. Even better would be a selection from a reader on a slightly lower level. The length of the dictation depends on whether it is used alone or with other language measures. If it is a part of a larger test, you can use dictation 75 to 100 words long. If it is used by itself, you will want a passage about 125 to 200 words long. (These are, of course, rather general guidelines).

Be careful to choose something that is unified able to stand alone. In order for your students to do their best, they must understand the meaning of the whole thing. You may even want to read your selection ahead of time to a native speaker or to another English teacher to see if he understands it. One way of helping to provide needed unity for a dictation from a longer passage is to write an introductory sentence or two. Here you can summarize what preceded the part that you are using. If necessary, you can also add a summary sentence or two at the end. Unless you are evaluating punctuation, it would be best to avoid a passage with much quoted material in it. Also avoid a passage containing a lot of names and dates and numbers, unless you need to test the ability of students to write out dates and numbers. Of course you can edit or take out a few troublesome words if the passage is suitable otherwise. After you prepare the modified version, the next step is to decide where the pauses should come. It's here where we will stop for students to write down what they have just heard. Aim for about seven or eight words between pauses, but allow for as few as five and as many as nine or ten words per group. You would very seldom go below five words. Let the structure of the ten sentence serve as a guide. Longer sentences can be divided between clauses and phrase groups. Place a slash (/) at each point that you plan to pause. Be sure to mark the passage in advance- not at the time you are administering the dictation. If more than one teacher is using the same dictation (and you want to compare the classes), marking the pauses will help make the test more uniform. You should also write out a common set of instructions for the teachers to read aloud to the classes. These directions should be worded simply. For beginning classes in which all students speak the same native language, you can even give the instructions in that language. You can also help to provide uniformity by taping the dictation and by having two teachers score each paper. This not essential, however.

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