16 Reasons for Classroom Assessment

class assessment

Classroom assessment is the act of collecting information about students, curricula and methodology with the aim of making decisions concerning to students’ needs and teacher’s objectives.

Classroom assessment should help the teacher in:

1. Determining student strengths and weaknesses.

2. Determining learning styles of his/her students.

3. Learning about student interests in various topics.

4. Classifying students into groups based upon their learning abilities, personal interests, characteristics and achievements.

5. Monitoring and following the progress of individual students.

6. Providing feedback about students’ achievement.

7. Specifying suitable teaching materials and activities.

8. Discovering what students have learned and what they still need to learn.

9. Deciding what to teach next.

10. Determining how to adapt lesson content to student need and learning styles.

11. Evaluating the effectiveness of teaching methods.

12. Assigning grades and feedback to students.

13. Giving feedback to parents.

14. Giving feedback to other teachers in the school and the principal.

15. Communicating with other professionals to provide more effective courses.

16. Recycling and revising previous lesson content.

Suggested aspects to focus on in classroom assessment:

1. Participation in the group work.

2. Ability to express in speech.

3. Ability to express in writing.

4. Listening comprehension.

5. Reading comprehension.

6. Neatness of handwriting.

7. Use of school library.

8. Response that show understanding.

9. Oral activities: discussion and answering questions.

10. Sharing in planning and preparing wall magazines.

11. Co-operation with the teacher and classmates.

12. Bringing books and doing homework.

13. Sharing in class activities.

14. Continuity of progress in learning and of dealing in good behavior.

Evaluation, Assessment and Measurement

evaluation

Evaluation is a purposeful, cyclical process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting relevant information in order to make qualitative judgments and take decisions concerning to certain performances, materials, activities, courses or programs in the light of certain aims, goals or objectives.

There are two types of evaluation:

1. Formative which is concerned mainly with forming and enhancing the process of learning. It is the ongoing assessment that teachers do into the classroom in order to decide to what extent they achieve their objectives or goals with the aim of making modifications for bringing about improvements.

2. Summative which is concerned with evaluating the whole knowledge of the learner and his/her progress & proficiency.

Evaluation has two sides: Measurement and assessment.

Measurement is the process of using certain tools, criteria and skills in order to make quantitative judgments of students’ achievements. Therefore measurement is impersonal and objective.

Assessment is the act of collecting information on individual learners’ performance proficiency and achievement in the light of certain objectives. Therefore assessment is personal and specific.

Using Video Clips in EFL Classroom

video in classroom

We often use video clips in EFL classroom to enhance listening skill and promote speaking. Video clips are valuable classroom tools especially when English is considered as a foreign language that is available to be listened to only in the classroom and not spoken outside it. Video clips provide students with an important stimulus for language production and practice. In addition, there are many other advantages of them in EFL classroom. Some of these advantages are as follow:
1. Students can observe in them real setting, actions and gestures.
2. They can be stepping stones to fun and communicative activities which include pre-viewing, while-viewing and post-viewing tasks.
3. They make everyday English accessible to learners.
4. The speech in them is authentic and the adversity of accents is clear.
5. They are rich with English-speaking cultures.
6. The language spoken in them is real, that is, structures are used in real contexts and real-life situations.

There are many things we can do with these video clips in EFL classroom. Here are some video clips-based tasks:

Sound off and watch:
Students are divided into groups. They watch the video clip with the sound turned off. It is preferable that the clip on focus includes emotions with plenty of gestures to stimulate students’ imagination. Students in each group are asked to predict the content of the scene, write their own script and perform it for the public. After the performances students watch the scene with sound turned on and decide which group was the funniest and which one is the nearest to original. This exercise is a good fun and promote speaking and imagination as well.

Information-gap exercise:
Students are divided into two groups. Students of the first group see and hear a clip; students of the other group only hear it. After that students of the second group have an interview with students of the first group asking them about what they have seen. This exercise is good for practicing grammatical structures, promoting speaking and enhancing listening skill.

Watch, observe and write:
Students view a scene full of actions. Then they are asked to write what they have seen. This exercise aims at practicing new vocabulary and writing compositions.

Dictation exercise:
Students watch a clip a few times. Then they are asked to write the main words and important phrases that a particular character says. Students are divided into groups. Each group is asked to focus on a character, listen carefully to what it says then write the key words and phrases of its speech. Teacher checks spelling and grammar of what students have written.
After that students are asked to use their memory or imagination to add to what they have written to compose the whole script of the video clip. Then the groups can perform the scene. This exercise gives students the opportunity to work on grammar and vocabulary, promote listening and practicing writing.

Watch and answer:
Students are asked to focus on the actions they can see and the dialogue spoken. Teacher can teach them the key vocabulary beforehand. After watching, students’ memory and comprehension are tested by asking them a series of true/false questions and asking them to put a series of events in order.

Features of pronunciation exercise:
We can select a scene deals with connected speech in particular prominence (or sentence stress) which is the speaker’s choice and use to convey a meaning. Students can watch the scene and decide which parts of the sentences are prominent and the meaning that the speaker wants to convey with his sentence stress. This exercise is very useful to allow students to practice sentence stress in context.

Put-in-order exercise:
In this exercise students listen to and see some jumbled mini dialogues. They are asked to put the mini dialogues in logical order to make a good and real conversation that we can enjoy and understand. And then students are asked to role play the whole conversation. This exercise develops students’ communication skills and encourages them to practice conversational English.

8 Tips for ELT Teachers’ Professional Development

PD

1. Join a professional organization:
Connect yourself with a network of people who do what you do and who share your concerns. You’ll receive newsletters and periodical journals of ELT. I suggest you to join niletesol.org
NileTESOL is a professional association for all those individuals who are actively involved in the development of the teaching of English and in teaching content in English in Egypt and globally.

2. Attend workshops, conferences, online presentations and webinars:
They’re good opportunities to meet your fellow teachers, get some inspiring ideas and know about EFL books and materials.

3. Meet up with your own support group:
Find some fellow teachers who are willing to meet occasionally or have lunch together for the purpose of exchanging thoughts and ideas. A long-term relationship with other teachers can be very beneficial.

4. Go online:
Have a daily access to the internet and do many things that relate to ELT. First of all visit our eltguide network to learn, share and leave your feedback:
* Facebook.com/eltguide (page on facebook)
* eltguide.wordpress.com (blog on wordpress)
* slideshare.net/eltguide (ELT presentations on slideshare)
Also you can create your own page or group on facebook and invite your colleagues to join and interact. You can sign up for ELT lists too. That provide you an opportunity to talk with thousands of EFL professionals internationally.

5. Get examination copies:
Get a look at them, answer the questions and be aware of the specifications of the exam paper. Learn how to put a good exam on the courses students in your country study. Know well how to evaluate and test students’ English.

6. Get a business card and a CV.:
This will make it easier for you to network when you go to conferences and meetings or even when you go online. This is a great way to introduce yourself as well as to spread your qualifications and achievements to the audience you care for. This gives you a self-esteem boost.

7. Enroll in a foreign language class:
Put yourself in the position of a student and know what it feels like to struggle with a new language. This experience will improve your level in English language and your level in teaching English as well. This exercise is so useful that it is worth repeating every few years to refresh your mind and increase your self-confidence.

8. Expand your ELT knowledge and English vocabulary:
Read, read and read all what you have or can get of ELT materials. Focus on practical ideas that you can make use of and practical steps that you can follow in your EFL classroom. Write down the gist you’ve got from the topics you’ve read about to be helpful resources for you in the future.
Again, read, read and read but this time real English in stories, news, everyday conversations …etc. with the purpose of getting fun and as well for expanding your stock of vocabulary. When you come up to a new word, know not only its immediate meaning but expand on its uses as well and know the prepositions it can take and the different meanings this results in. Also, know more real-life examples of how to use new words.

Six Principles to Communicate Best with Students

communicate

As teaching should be a participative and interactive activity, there must be a kind of communication between teachers and their students. As a result, teachers should be well aware of the principles and techniques that help them be more effective communicators and get what they want from their communication with students. The main six of these principles are as follow:

1. Listening well with signals that prove attention and interest in what students say.

2. Using the voice well with variations of tone that send various responding messages to what students say or do.

3. Using suitable words to convey clear messages and instructions so that students know well what to do exactly.

4. Making the best use of body language to control the class and demonstrate attitudes towards students’ actions.

5. Communicating by eye contact to show interest or encourage students to correct their errors by themselves.

6. Considering the effects of physical environment on creating effective communication. Rearranging the furniture, opening a window, hanging some photos or pictures, sticking some wall sheets and many other similar things can make a big difference with our communication with students.

In fact, there are many other communication principles teachers should stick to while interacting with their students and it’s your turn to add one more below.

Remember that miscommunication between a teacher and his/her students is enough to hinder learning or prevent achieving teaching objectives.

Accuracy and Fluency Activities

fluency vs accuracy

When we focus on accuracy activities we:
* focus on forming correct examples of language use.
* produce language in a controlled way.
* deal with grammar explicitly.
* insist on receiving grammatically correct and complete sentences.
* practice language out of context.
* practice small samples of language.
* do not require authentic communication.

When we focus on fluency activities we:
* reflect natural language use
* deal with grammar implicitly.
* encourage free production of the language.
* reflect automatic performance.
* produce language that is not always predictable.
* require the use of improvising, paraphrasing, repair and reorganization.
* require real communication.

The focus on fluency activities would help learners develop communicative skills but those activities do nothing with linguistic competence. In other words the use of authentic communication particularly in the early stages of learning would help students often develop fluency at the expense of accuracy resulting in learners with good communication skills but a poor command of grammar.

To solve this problem the teacher should do the following during fluency activities:
1. get the learners’ attention to the presence of a linguistic feature in the input.
2. treat with grammatical features explicitly but within context.
3. focus on form but within task-based activities.
4. use various activities that develop the learners’ communicative skills and increase their attention to linguistic forms as well.

Ten Abilities & Skills Primary Teachers of English Need to Have & Develop

primary teachers

1. Understanding and deal well with young learners knowing well their characteristics.

2. Understanding the process of teaching and learning with young learners and overcoming any challenge that may occur sometimes.

3. Creating a relax atmosphere in the classroom and a friendly relationship with the young learners.

4. Speaking English fluently with the correct pronunciation.

5. Creating various & interesting activities and suitable learning environment to get their attention all the time.

6. Selecting & using well the most suitable teaching methods & materials for young learners.

7. Designing suitable assessment tools for young learners and following the right procedures to evaluate them during the language lesson.

8. Encourage, praising and giving a hand to low achievers of young learners.

9. Creating and implementing a remedial programme to raise the level of low achievers.

10. Being an actor, a story-teller, caretaker, mentor to achieve learning objectives with fun.

What else do you think primary teachers of English need to have & develop?

How to Teach a Dialogue?

dialogueThere are two stages of teaching any dialogue:

1. Presenting the dialogue:

1. Introduce the activity telling Ss that they’re going to read & listen a dialogue.

2. Present the most important or the key individual words included in the dialogue.

3. Ask Ss to look at the dialogue and the pictures to talk about the scene of it:
a. Who are the speakers?
b. Where are they?
c. What are they talking about?
d. What do you think is happening in each picture?

4. Then ask Ss to read the whole dialogue silently or listen to it extensively to answer a pre-question. The answer is the main idea of the dialogue.

5. Next, ask or put two more questions on the board and ask Ss to listen to the dialogue on the cassette ( or read by the teacher ) to answer those questions.

6. Read the dialogue aloud, this time to focus on the important phrases or expressions included in the dialogue.

2. Practicing the dialogue:

1. Invite pairs of Ss to the front of the class with their books to role play or act out the dialogue.

2. Write the dialogue on the board or distribute it printed on a paper with some missing parts. Ask Ss to work in pairs to fill in the gaps. Elicit the answers from as many pairs as possible.

3. Focusing on the important language functions included in the dialogue, divide the dialogue into mini dialogues or some situations, each one includes a prompt and its response, give each mini dialogue with a missing part & ask Ss to fill in the gaps in pairs and act out each situation.

4. Invite pairs of Ss to the front of the class without their books to role play or act out the dialogue telling them that some personal modifications should be done.

Call for ESL Teachers: Your Professional Development is So Important

prfessional development1First of all you must put in your mind that “Learning to be a teacher is “a life-long experience”

Secondly if you pursue to be an experienced and effective teacher, you should take charge of training yourselves to be:
* aware of the philosophy of teaching and learning,
* efficient in drawing on and adapting content knowledge,
* capable of making decisions before, during and after every teaching and learning experience.

Consequently Professional development for you is critical. It is the responsibility of each teacher once they are in the context of the workplace.

prfessional development2Professional development means:
* The constant search for answers to questions which arise from the ever new circumstances in educational contexts as the years pass.
* Training for the purpose of keeping up to date with advancements in language teaching and research.
To be able to achieve the previous aims, there are a lot of resources available for teachers to become better-informed language teaching professionals such as:

learn(a) participating in professional language teaching associations,
(b) reading printed books and journals,
(c) participating in electronic discussion groups,
(d) making use of on-line teaching and learning resources,
(e) attending regular workshops and conferences,
(f) working collaboratively or contacting with experienced colleagues, and
(g) doing action research.

 

Drills that Must be Prepared for Any Lesson

 

images

Once the structure or new language has been presented in the lesson, the teacher gives the class some drills to practice the new materials on focus. There are Three Main Kinds of drills that must be included in any lesson in the following sequence:

1- Controlled drills:

They are manipulative drills with the aim of developing accuracy. They come directly after presenting the new material.

e.g. Repetition drills which can be in groups, in pairs or individually.

2- Guided drills:

Students cannot perform these drills without knowing the meaning of the new language because they focus on the content instead of the form.

e.g. A. Substitution drills: they may be:

a- Simple: with one cue

e.g.  I go to the market everyday. (every week)

b- Multiple: the basic sentence remains the same but the cue could be substitutable for any item in the model.

e.g.:

T. : Ali

S. : Ali wrote a good book.

T. : Story.

S. : Ali wrote a good story.

T. : love.

S. : Ali wrote a love story. etc.

B. Chain drills:

The teacher asks a question then the students ask each other.

e.g.

T. : Are you hungry?

S1: No, I am not.

S1: (to another student) Are you hungry?

S2: Yes, I am.

S2 : (to a third student) Are you hungry?  Etc.

C. Transformation drills:

e.g. from sentence to a question, passive, negative…..

T. : I like sandwiches.

S1: (to another student) Do you like sandwiches?

S.2: No, I do not like sandwiches. etc.

D. Expansion drills:

e.g.

T. : I have a pen. ( always)

S. : I always have a pen.

S. : I always have a good pen. etc.

E. Integrative drills:

Two short sentences should be combined into one.

e.g.

I have a pen. It’s red.

I have a red pen.

3- Communicative drills:

The pupils feel freedom of expressing themselves or their ideas.

e.g.

Tell us about your daily routines ( Using frequency adverbs )

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