Assessment is a vital part of language education. Improve your understanding of language assessment with this online course.
Weekly study3 hours
Language Assessment in the Classroom
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Improve your language assessment skills and discover new types of assessments
Over the last 15 years, assessment has had an increasingly significant impact on education policy globally. Consequently, there is a growing need among teachers to understand how language assessment works.
On this course from the British Council, you will learn about the principles of sound language assessment. You’ll develop an understanding of the different types of assessment in education and how they can be applied.
With guidance from experienced test developers and international assessment experts, you’ll explore practical ways of assessing language and skills to use in your classroom.
Assessing speaking and writing
A welcome message from Barry O'Sullivan.
How can assessment help teachers?
A brief introduction to assessment from a teacher's perspective. We look at different types of assessment, and how assessment benefits both teachers and learners in the classroom.
First, we will look at how speaking is assessed, including assessment tasks and criteria. As we go along, we will use examples from speaking to introduce some important concepts in language assessment.
Like speaking, writing is a productive skill. In some ways, assessing writing is similar to assessing speaking, but there are also important differences which we will explore in this section.
End of week 1
In this unit, we will summarise the main ideas we have discussed about the assessment of productive skills and give you a quick quiz to recap terminology and concepts.
Assessing reading and listening
Introduction to receptive skills
In this unit, we are going to discuss the main features of receptive skills and their implications for assessment.
What is reading?
In this unit, we will discuss what reading is and what different skills are needed.
In this unit, we are going to look at how can we test reading in the most effective way.
Developing a reading test
In this unit, we are going to discuss how we can create a successful test.
What is listening?
In this unit, we are going to discuss what listening is and what skills are involved.
In this unit, we are going to look at what listening is and what this means for assessment. We will also introduce some technical terminology.
Let's talk about scoring...
In this unit, we are going to give practical guidance about scoring and finish with a few tips on how to run listening tests.
End of Week 2
In this unit, we will summarise the main ideas we have discussed about the assessment of receptive skills and give you a quick quiz to recap terminology and concepts.
Assessing vocabulary and grammar
This unit is an introduction to testing vocabulary and grammar.
In this unit we are going to discuss what vocabulary is and how this is important to understand how to assess it.
This unit introduces participants to the key concepts of assessing grammar.
In this unit we are going to discuss some of the most common task types used to assess vocabulary and grammar.
End of Week 3
In this unit, we will summarise the main ideas we have discussed about the assessment of vocabulary and grammar and give you a quick quiz to recap terminology and concepts.
Assessment and course planning
Assessment needs to be included at the planning stage when designing a course of study.
An overview of some of the issues involved in deciding what to test and how to test it.
Planning, design, development, operation, monitoring
End of week 4
In this part, we will give you a quick quiz to recap terminology and concepts from this week and then summarise the main ideas we have discussed about test development.
Goodbye, thank you, and good luck!
An end-of-course message for everyone who has worked with us and made it all the way to the end.
Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Identify the basic principles involved in reliable and valid test design
- Demonstrate an understanding of different types of tests and how they can be used
- Evaluate assessment needs of students within a given context
- Explain some practical techniques for assessing different language skills and knowledge
Who is the course for?
This course is aimed at language teachers in secondary or high schools around the world, and anyone interested in understanding how language assessment works.
To get the most from this course, you will need to have English language proficiency at a minimum CEFR B1 level.
The course does not require any previous knowledge of assessment issues.
Who will you learn with?
I work with the Assessment Research Group at the British Council in London. I work on a variety of test development and research projects, including the Aptis test.
Now a member of the Assessment Research Group at the British Council, I was previously an Associate Professor in EFL, focusing on teaching & testing Business English, EAP & ESP, and a teacher trainer.
I am an Assessment Solutions Consultant with the EAAST team at the British Council in China. My work experience is quite varied: a project manager, financial consultant, and an English teacher.
Hi! I currently work as an Assessment Solutions Consultant in Beijing for the British Council. I've been involved in the ESL industry for 18 yrs, working as a teacher, trainer, manager, and assessor.
I am a researcher with the Assessment Research Group at the British Council. I previously worked in the HE sector in the UK and overseas with a specific focus on testing and assessment in EAP.
I work in Shanghai for the British Council as an assessment solutions manager. My main area of interest is the assessment of productive skills of young learners and image use in testing.
Who developed the course?
The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.
We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.
Learning on FutureLearn
Your learning, your rules
- Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
- Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
- Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores
Join a global classroom
- Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
- Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
- Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others
Map your progress
- As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
- Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
- Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate
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