VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Assessing Primary Learners: Class Star Or Class Triangle?
Martin Goosey

Building: A12
Room: Room 201
Date: 2018-10-13 10:10 AM – 11:10 AM
Last modified: 2018-09-28


We know that assessing learners is a complex matter in itself, but when those learners are young and their cognitive abilities are not uniform or wholly developed, does it not become even more so? With adults, the CEFR was developed to compare 'can-dos' within or across languages, but the limited life experience of young children can make many of these comparisons seem meaningless. So what is the teacher to do? Parents and institutions demand evidence of progress, often appear to have little understanding of what happens in the classroom, and formative assessments are then 'rationalised' into standard summative tests. This talk is aimed at those teachers new to assessing younger learners, and focuses especially on the Primary age-range. Building upon the speaker's years of practical classroom and management experience across Asia and Europe, it examines some of the basic problems in Primary assessment and reporting; looks at some of the fundamental principles behind evaluation in this age-group; and attempts to raise awareness of the pertinent issues among less-experienced teachers of English language. The workshop is based on a training session in assessment for Primary teachers developed in conjunction with Trinity College London, as part of a jointly-owned qualification, the Teaching Young Learners Extenison Certificate (TYLEC).